Crystal Rain

Tobias S. Buckell, Author
Tobias S. Buckell, Author . Tor $24.95 (351p) ISBN 978-0-7653-1227-3
Reviewed on: 01/02/2006
Release date: 02/01/2006
Mass Market Paperbound - 370 pages - 978-0-7653-5090-9
Paperback - 352 pages - 978-0-7653-8063-0
Paperback - 352 pages - 978-0-7653-3840-2
Ebook - 352 pages - 978-1-4299-1075-0
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John deBrun, an amnesia victim with a hook instead of a left hand, must save his adopted society on the planet Nanaganda by recovering a lost technological artifact, the Ma Wi Jung , in Buckell's at times overly violent but enjoyable SF debut. John, living happily with his wife and son, has suppressed the memories of everything before his rescue from a watery grave 27 years earlier. When one group of native humans along with alien beings invade John's town, he winds up captured by the planet's other human society, the Azteca, whose culture is based on ritual sacrifice. Ruled by bloodthirsty, genetically engineered aliens called the Teotl, the Azteca have tunneled through the mountain range that separates the two human societies. Only the heroic efforts of John and acquaintances from his murky past can stop the ruthless Azteca. For a first-timer, Buckell handles his interlocking narratives well and his characters retain their humanity (even the slightly alien ones). Unusual for the genre, the many victims of torture and death are evenly divided between males and females. (Feb.)

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