cover image The Fall

The Fall

Tracy Townsend. Pyr, $18 trade paper (400p) ISBN 978-1-63388-498-4

The second volume of Townsend’s Thieves of Fate series (following The Nine) returns to her alternate Earth, where science is the prevailing religion and the planet’s most courageous resident is 14-year-old street rat Rowena Downshire. Rowena’s perilous life was radically altered when she came under the wing of the Alchemist and encountered a book that was the work of science-minded God. The book identified the Nine, the creator’s current test subjects for the experiment of creation; one of them is Rowena. Now the Alchemist’s companions have learned that some of the Nine are members of nonhuman races—and the book has fallen into the hands of a troublemaking nonhuman who wants to kill the Nine, ending the experiment and all creation with it. Rowena’s life is no longer gritty, but Townsend ratchets up the tension by increasing the danger with higher-stakes plots and complex intrigue. Readers get a broader view of the intricate worldbuilding, including the fabulous Grand Library of Nippon, through Rowena’s eyes. Fans of genre-bending science fiction will want to take another journey to Townsend’s clockwork realms. Agent: Bridget Smith, Dunham Literary. (Jan.)