cover image Terminal Uprising

Terminal Uprising

Jim C. Hines. DAW, $26 (336p) ISBN 978-0-7564-1277-7

For this enjoyable second installment of the Janitors of the Post-Apocalypse series, Hines continues to focus on unlikely protagonists for a military science fiction story: janitors, lawyers, and librarians. After uncovering the truth behind humans’ devolution into feral monsters in 2017’s Terminal Alliance, Lt. Marion “Mops” Adamopoulos and her team of sanitation engineers remain at large aboard the EMCS Pufferfish, which they appropriated after the rest of the crew was incapacitated during a bioterrorist attack. Mops is determined to clean up the mess at the heart of the Krakau Alliance, but when her latest source of information turns out to be a lawyer belonging to the xenocidal Prodryans, she’s taken aback. It seems there’s a secret Krakau lab conducting illegal experiments that could change the balance of power in the galaxy. To investigate, Mops and her team will have to return to the most dangerous planet of all: Earth, with its terrifying animals and fearsome natives. Subtle absurdist humor permeates the narrative, derived from faulty translations, cultural references without context, and unconventional solutions to problems. Clever characterization and action-packed moments round out this thoroughly satisfying outing. Agent: Joshua A. Bilmes, JABberwocky Literary. (Feb.)