With this lush, immersive sci-fi tale, de Bodard (The House of Sundering Flames) delves into a world as gritty as it is ethereal. Vân, a tutor, hides the fact that her memory implant is a fake from her wealthy employers. The device is meant to contain the memory of the user’s ancestors and so enhance the user’s knowledge base, but Vân cobbled her own together from memories of other people’s ancestors, breaking a major taboo but allowing her access to scholarly society. When a visitor to her pupil winds up dead, Vân works with The Wild Orchid in the Sunless Wood, a “mindship” (a sentient spaceship with a human avatar), to find out what happened. Their investigation leads them to a deceased architect and a group of thieves searching for the treasure he supposedly left behind. The closer Vân and Sunless Wood come to catching the thieves, the closer they grow to one another. But can their budding relationship survive as dark secrets from both of their pasts come to light? De Bodard hints at a vast, fully realized world, but offers too few explanations for some of her imaginative creations. Despite the mild confusion this causes, readers will be swept away by the vivid prose, intrigue, and romance of this intricate tale. This fascinating, unusual story is sure to entrance. Agent: John Berlyne, the Zeno Agency. (Oct.)
Reviewed on : 05/07/2020 Release date: 10/01/2020 Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror
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