cover image The Stars Now Unclaimed

The Stars Now Unclaimed

Drew Williams. Tor, $24.99 (448p) ISBN 978-1-250-18611-9

Williams’s sarcastic, trope-filled debut is a science fiction adventure that never takes itself too seriously. Jane is a human member of the Justified sect who’s trying to make up for what she views as the worst thing she’s ever done. A few generations ago, the universe was hit by the pulse, a weapon that destroyed all other weaponry. It got out of control and set planets back technologically, leaving some without even electricity. Jane’s sect was the one that released it, with her help. Now she’s trying to right her wrongs by traveling to different planets to find kids who have gained powers because of the pulse. With the help of Preacher, a member of the alien AI Barious, her goal is to help telekinetic child Esa save the universe. But the destructive, shortsighted sect known as Pax has been rallying for universal domination and stands in her way. For those familiar with the genre, this story won’t have many surprises, but it’s an enjoyable ride full of dry humor and thrilling action scenes. Agent: Chris Kepner, Kepner Agency. (Aug.)