cover image On the Steel Breeze

On the Steel Breeze

Alastair Reynolds. Ace, $26.95 (496p) ISBN 978-0-425-25678-7

Reynolds’s depth of imagination, adeptness with creating multi-dimensional characters, and brisk pacing are again in evidence in his second Poseidon’s Children SF novel. Chiku Akinya was born on the Moon and grew up during a tranquil time in human history. Lacking major challenges to overcome, she feels inferior compared to her ancestors (whose achievements were chronicled in Blue Remembered Earth). To broaden her experiences, Akinya creates clones of herself, gives them her memories, and sends them off—one to journey to the stars in search of their ancestor Eunice, and one to help the quest for a new human home on the planet Crucible. The bulk of the book focuses on the latter Akinya, who makes some disturbing discoveries about the holoship she’s on and its target. While familiarity with the first book isn’t necessary, the complicated story structure may confuse both new and returning readers. (June)