Winter Kim searches for a brother she’s never known.
Korean-American Winter Kim’s beloved sister, Rose, is dead. A mysterious businessman, Kyung, is responsible, and Winter is determined to make him pay. Armed with Vicarious Sensory Experiences technology and aided by her friends (Mexican-American Jesse Ramirez and racially ambiguous former mercenary Baz Faber), Winter sets off for Seoul to discover the truth about Kyung and protect her long-lost brother, Jun. Most of the pros and cons of the series’ first installment reoccur here. The sci-fi world Winter inhabits expands and contracts in involving ways. The author excels at weaving her characters and narrative together, making each element propel the others. The romance between Winter and Jesse heats up slowly but surely, with enough sizzle to keep readers interested but not so much that it overpowers the narrative’s primary thrust. The first novel exploited Winter’s dissociative identity disorder to fold the mystery upon itself with mixed results. Here, Winter’s DID is developed further and put to use in more dramatic circumstances. Rose still resides in Winter’s head, but a third personality, the bloodthirsty Lily, begins to emerge as well. Stokes twists this as best she can, but the plot-driven way she uses the condition still feels somewhat problematic.
The rare sequel that properly expands the characters, world, and themes of its predecessor. (Science fiction. 14-17)