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by Robert Reed

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-312-86269-5
Publisher: Tor

 Part sequel to, part expansion of Beyond the Veil of Stars (1994). Unlike Reed's usual practice, however, the hypercosmic complications come first: The Earth is connected to billions of other worlds via microscopic wormholes, or ``intrusions,'' that allow beings to pass through; on the other side they're reborn into the bodies of the planet's dominant species. The Cosmic Event Agency recruited Cornell Novak and others as explorers, hoping to grab advanced alien technology. During one trip, Cornell met Porsche Neal; she turned out to be an alien from planet Jarrtee, a refugee and part of an extended family of interplanetary travelers known as the Few. Porsche and Cornell plan to expose the wicked activities of the CEA, but, unfortunately, Porsche's cousin Trinidad betrays them. So with their families held hostage, Porsche and Cornell are forced to help Trinidad and the CEA kidnap Jarrtee's finest minds. Porsche, meanwhile, learns that Trinidad isn't a Few at all, but a hostile alien Other--a species whose purpose is to stir up wars and depopulate planets so that they can move in and take over. The unbelievable cosmic setup aside: aliens of real depth and conviction, well-articulated plotting, above-average characters, and an absorbing narrative--all add up to Reed's best outing so far. Anticipate at least one more volume in the same vein.