The rapidly growing ""Shavvy"" cult, led by beautiful and charismatic Drussa Silver, poses an intolerable threat to the existing religious orthodoxy of Freeway, to say nothing of the secret caucus which rules the apparently idyllic planet by a combination of feudal arrogance, computerized authority, and sheer deception. The Tri-Galactic Intelligence Service undertakes an investigation in the person of agent Coyote Jones, chosen for his immunity to the mind-suggestion which everyone believes is behind the purported miracles of the Shavvies. Elgin writes vigorously and with wit; the figures of the bewildered Coyote and a fast-talking old shark of a Multiversity Dean are neatly realized, and there are some lovely details of the Freeway ecology. Yet somehow the story seems too short and slight for all the accessory gingerbread heaped about it--multiple narrators, epigraphs from fictional encyclopedias, cloak-and-dagger posturings, unconvincing moral dilemmas. Ragged but promising.