Killing Titan

Greg Bear. Orbit, $26 (336p) ISBN 978-0-316-22400-0

In Bear's War Dogs, aliens called the Gurus offered humans advanced technology. U.S. Army Master Sgt. Michael Venn discovered the price tag: war against a relentless enemy. Meanwhile, contact with the Drifter, an ancient fragment of a moon that crashed into Mars, turned his fellow soldiers into what resembled black glass. In this satisfying sequel, Venn learns that his encounter with the Drifter gave him the ability to communicate with someone he thought dead, and possibly with the remains of ancient beings who lived in Saturn's system billions of years before—including on Titan, where the war has raged far hotter than on Mars. Venn can find the answers he needs, and save his comrades, if he can live long enough to put the pieces together on Titan. Bear slowly transforms Venn from a cynical grunt to someone who can alter Earth's destiny, without taking the soldier out of him. Readers will appreciate the mix of fast-paced military fiction and eons-long mystery, a blend of brutal and sublime in which life is precious no matter how vast the scope—or the type of life. Agent: Richard Curtis, Richard Curtis Associates. (Oct.)
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