cover image Maxine Justice: Galactic Attorney

Maxine Justice: Galactic Attorney

Daniel Schwabauer. Enclave, $24.99 (256p) ISBN 978-1-62184-222-4

The eponymous heroine of this electrifying speculative legal thriller from Schwabauer (Operation Grendel) navigates a corporatized near-future dystopia. Maxine, a down-on-her-luck rookie lawyer hoping for a big break to launch her personal-injury firm, reluctantly accepts a stint as a public defender only to wind up on probation after a rigged trial in which her client is wrongly convicted. A desperate Maxine is then approached by Ibit Arounais, an alien scientist who claims his miracle health serum can cure any natural human flaw. Though she doesn’t believe the serum can possibly work, she’s swayed by lavish compensation and a desire to keep her dream afloat, and agrees to broker a deal with the UN on behalf of Ibit, who hopes for 30% of Earth’s gold reserves in exchange for this miracle cure. As evidence mounts that the serum is the real deal, Maxine is kidnapped and drawn into a web of pulse-pounding intrigue and thorny moral questions about what health is worth. Schwabauer hooks readers from the start with immersive worldbuilding and a feisty, determined heroine, and keeps the pages turning with consistently rising stakes. This is a winner. (Mar.)