God's War

Kameron Hurley, Author
Kameron Hurley, Night Shade (www.nightshadebooks.com), $14.99 trade paper (304p) ISBN 978-1-59780-214-7
Reviewed on: 12/20/2010
Release date: 01/01/2011
Open Ebook - 288 pages - 978-1-59780-300-7
Ebook - 400 pages - 978-0-345-51904-7
Paperback - 400 pages - 978-0-553-80746-2
Open Ebook - 432 pages - 978-1-4481-4849-3
Hardcover - 320 pages - 978-0-09-195278-5
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Readers will be fascinated by the setting of this slow-starting but compelling far-future debut. On a planet settled by Muslims and ravaged by constant war and pollution, Nyx, a former government-sponsored assassin or "bel dame," gets by as a bounty hunter. Her assistant is the foreign magician Rhys, who can control the ubiquitous insects that drive the planet's technology. When the government asks them to hunt down an off-worlder who possesses technology that could end the war, they find themselves facing off against foreign agents and their fellow bel dames. Hurley's world-building is phenomenal, with casual references to insectile technology and the world's history that provide atmosphere without info dumps. Far too many pages are spent introducing the characters, but the story is highly engaging once it starts, and Hurley smoothly handles tricky themes such as race, class, religion, and gender without sacrificing action. (Feb.)
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