cover image The Doors of Eden

The Doors of Eden

Adrian Tchaikovsky. Orbit, $17.99 trade paper (608p) ISBN 978-0-316-70580-6

Tchaikovsky (Children of Ruin) examines alternate dimensions and speculative evolution in this tropey, entertaining sci-fi adventure that’s both outrageously bizarre and utterly convincing. Cryptid hunter Lee Pryor receives a call from her girlfriend, Elsinore “Mal” Mallory, four years after Mal disappeared without a trace on Bodmin moor. Meanwhile, MI5 agent Julian Sabreur receives word that theoretical mathematician Kay Amal Khan has been attacked in her flat. The last thing Julian expects to discover when he reaches the scene are Kay’s would-be abductors beaten senseless and camera footage of a woman who disappeared four years ago fleeing the building. Lee and Julian’s intricate story lines crisscross, building steady momentum and layered suspense. Things come to a head when Lee is kidnapped by a dodgy private security firm and then rescued by unknown allies who transport her through the multiverse, bringing her to join Kay, who has been recruited to save the world from a growing threat. Edifying and entertaining evolutionary histories of alternate versions of Earth are interspersed throughout, granting the reader insight into the multiverse as the cracks between dimensions widen. Thrilling action punctuates the intrigue on the way to an ending that, though convoluted, satisfies. Sci-fi readers will be pleased. Agent: Simon Kavanagh, Mic Cheetham Agency (Sept.)