cover image Shadow Captain

Shadow Captain

Alastair Reynolds. Orbit, $15.99 trade paper (448p) ISBN 978-0-316-55570-8

More a continuation of 2016’s Revenger than a sequel, this wonderfully complicated, fascinating space opera carries on the adventures of teen sisters Adrana and Arafura Ness, who find themselves over their heads in deep space intrigue. In the earlier novel, Fura rescued the older Adrana from vicious space pirate Bosa Sennen, but not before Adrana had absorbed some of Bosa’s personality and Fura had been forced to become frighteningly ruthless. Now in command of Bosa’s feared spaceship, they are pursued by bounty hunters who won’t believe that they are innocent. After reaching the remote space station Wheel Strizzardy, they fall into the hands of crime boss Mr. Glimmery. Meanwhile, Fura has become obsessed with locating Bosa’s stash of loot, while Adrana wants to explore a remote object that she believes is somehow responsible for the fall of interstellar civilizations. Reynolds has constructed a huge, dazzling setting for this series, but even more interesting is watching the young Ness women interact with their somewhat untrustworthy crew and their own sometimes treacherous impulses. This marvelous mix of character study and space adventure isn’t always accessible to new readers but will delight returning fans. (Jan.)