This plodding off-world mystery is replete with annoying quirks but devoid of suspense. Paulo Verano is an ecologist sent to survey the far-flung planet of Stittara, the sole source of life-extending “cosmetic and physiological anagathics” and home to the mysterious and possibly intelligent skytubes. The boring Verano hogs the stage; supporting characters strut and fret but leave no impressions. Verano’s investigation spins its wheels without advancing the plot, sprinkled with pointless and distracting “futuristic” spelling (“kalzone” for “calzone,” “duhlars” for “dollars”) and ellipses (“Ah... yes. That. There’s a matter... of timing”). References to real-life politics include Verano’s home world of Bachman, another world called Randtwo, a university and a dessert named after Ronald Reagan, and a totally gratuitous discursion on the virtues of low income taxes and a capital gains regimen favoring homeowners over apartment dwellers. Verano muddles through to a sputtering, unsatisfying ending. Readers may choose to bail out earlier. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/22/2013 Release date: 09/17/2013 Genre: Fiction
Ebook - 368 pages - 978-1-4668-2235-1
Compact Disc - 978-1-4526-4608-4
Mass Market Paperbound - 419 pages - 978-0-7653-7041-9
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