cover image CLEOPATRA 7.2


Elizabeth Ann Scarborough, . . Ace, $23.95 (336pp) ISBN 978-0-441-01206-0

Archeologist Leda Hubbard and her unlikely companion, Cleopatra (yes, that Cleopatra, the product of an experimental procedure "blending" the dead queen's DNA with Leda's), have become partners in Scarborough's cheerful sequel to Channeling Cleopatra (2002), despite Leda's "low birth" and Cleo's tendency to plot the murder of every potential rival. Leda and the scientists behind the discovery of blending find themselves dumped by Nucor Helix, the company that owns the technology, just as fellow archeologist Dr. Gabriella Faruk blends her DNA with another sample of Cleopatra's DNA to create a second modern-day Cleopatra to assist in translating the scrolls and papyri from Cleo's tomb. Both Cleos want Egypt to regain its former wealth and glory, and urge Leda to resurrect Marc Antony, using a lock of his hair in a locket interred with Cleo's mummy. Meanwhile, Helix has other plans, which include licensing the blending technique to anyone willing to pay. Scarborough keeps the story moving at a breathless pace through the distinctive voices of Leda and her Cleopatra. With its humorous tone and optimistic heroines and heroes, this science fantasy should appeal to fans of Anne McCaffrey and Mercedes Lackey. Agent, Merilee Heifetz. (Dec. 7)