cover image After Atlas

After Atlas

Emma Newman. Roc, $15 trade paper (384p) ISBN 978-0-425-28240-3

In this richly written companion novel to Planetfall, Newman returns to the Earth that the interstellar explorers in the first book left behind. Carlos Moreno’s mother was selected to leave Earth on the legendary star cruiser Atlas. Carlos was not only abandoned by her but neglected by his father and betrayed by an idealistic cult leader. After being captured by the corporate government and sold under a contract that amounts to slavery, he works as an investigator and eventually is forced to solve the murder of the man he holds responsible for his plight. Despite his grief and anger, Moreno’s training compels him to leave no stone unturned, even when he reveals secrets that might destroy any chance he has of ever being free again. Newman again portrays a world of luxury bought with pain and suffering, built on lies and sustained by powerful individuals who exploit the ignorance of the masses. Both new and returning readers will be drawn into this tale of those who suffered the loss of loved ones who put the Atlas mission ahead of their own families, never to be heard from again. With details like diamonds, the gumshoe adventure reveals the destruction of those left behind when Atlas left Earth seeking God. Peril and despair seep into the fabric of society until every avenue of escape leads only to a new kind of danger. Gripping and sorrowful, this imaginative story is a satisfying return to Newman’s future of greed and hope. (Nov.)