A teenage girl becomes an intelligence agent on another planet after her brother goes missing.
When Shiloh Rush finds out that her brother John has gone missing only a month after enlisting in the military, she’s devastated. Months pass and still no word—things aren’t looking good. Then, after she finds she’s been transported to an unfamiliar world, the truth about her brother is revealed. John didn’t really enlist in the military: He was a catascope, an intelligence agent for the Zyngan Federation, an intergalactic empire only select people on Earth know about. (Earth, Shiloh is told, isn’t quite evolved enough to be let into the Federation’s elite ranks.) Shiloh decides to follow in his footsteps and train to be a catascope. After years of intense training, she and her partner, Spud, get entangled in trying to stop a plot by traitor Theodore Benedict that involves time-traveling back to the ancient Middle East, all while she and Spud try to lead double lives as teen TV stars back home. Later, Shiloh and Spud will also have the opportunity to potentially save her brother’s life, but doing so would mean altering the timeline of Earth’s history. Shiloh is a winning, compelling narrator, and it’s hard not to root for her and get caught up in her plight. The two action-packed, suspenseful books collected in this omnibus will likely appeal to readers familiar with the genre. However, those who only dabble in off-world sci fi may find themselves lost at sea, since the primary flaw in Pascal’s writing is the sheer volume of made-up terminology—“Mingferplatoi,” “Kharybdian,” “Zygint,” “M-fanning,” “Geryon”—which aside from sounding silly often makes the text fairly impenetrable. With such wild words popping up frequently, readers may find it difficult to lose themselves in the story or to get a real grasp on the narrative.
An imaginative, enjoyable adventure for sci-fi fans.