cover image Lex Talionis

Lex Talionis

R.S.A. Garcia. Dragonwell (Ingram, dist.), $16.95 trade paper (350p) ISBN 978-1-940076-12-6

A battered young human woman’s return from the dead leads to anguished moral conflict and interplanetary political intrigue in this stunning debut. “Lex” revives after Oux, a small alien biped, runs into her room and communicates with her, mind to mind, but suffers from amnesia and can’t recall her name. Sympathetic Dr. Colin Mayfield helps Lex recover her health and soon determines that she was deliberately targeted and assaulted. While a telepathic pathologist finds a secret common to her past and his own, determined investigators Marakesh “Mark” Linkow and Sonja Helene look for evidence of an official cover-up that’s protecting Lex’s assailants. Garcia’s effective manipulation of the plot shifts into a higher gear when Lex recalls her true name and history. The setting is handled in an effortless way that makes aliens and advanced technology feel commonplace. Artificial breeding, interplanetary settlement, and political rebellion are just a few of the concepts that Garcia infuses with ethical tensions and deep personal emotion in this intense and intriguing work. (June)