cover image Down Among the Dead

Down Among the Dead

K.B. Wagers. Orbit, $16.99 trade paper (448p) ISBN 978-0-316-41125-7

Wagers’s rough and raucous gunrunner empress Hail Bristol returns in the exhilarating second installment of the Farian War series. The massive blast that ended There Before the Chaos killed almost everyone Hail loved and left her in the hands of mysterious enemy aliens called the Shen. The Shen need Hail’s help to stop powerful beings posing as gods and try to sway her to their side by showing her visions of a devastating future. Hail doesn’t know what to believe or who to back in the ongoing war. The only thing she knows for sure is that eventually she’ll have to fight her way out. Though Hail’s mental health is failing, her hard-edged toughness persists. Wagers viscerally portrays both Hail’s violent rages and her loving protectiveness over her surviving loved ones as she teeters on the edge of losing her mind. This excellent, electric space opera will delight Wagers’s fans and appeal to lovers of political speculative fiction. Agent: Andy Zack, the Zack Company. (Dec.)