cover image The Ice Ghost

The Ice Ghost

Kathleen O’Neal Gear. DAW, $27 (288p) ISBN 978-0-7564-1586-0

Gear continues her inventive postapocalyptic trilogy featuring revived ancient hominids, with this jam-packed sequel to The Ice Lion. Sea lion clan member Quiller reluctantly agrees to lead Trogon, a visionary Neanderthal, to a cave he claims houses the mythic Old Woman of the Mountain, who has knowledge of the time when the ancient humans lived. Quiller first takes Trogon and his warriors—among them Sticks, a Homo erectus and font of oral stories of the past—to her fellow Sealion, Lynx. Lynx has been living with Arakie, a man who claims to be an ancient and who taught about the history of humans resurrecting ancient species. Trogon forces Quiller onward, however, all the while trying to break her with stories of her family’s deaths at his hands. Meanwhile, Arakie dies and Lynx sets out after Quiller, bumping into her husband, RabbitEar, also pursuing his wife. And deep inside the massive mountain caves, perplexing relics and strange truths await both groups. There’s not quite enough breathing room for the amount of both worldbuilding and action that Gear attempts to pull off, but the wild premise, speculative approach, and tense adventure will keep readers hooked. Fans will eagerly await answers in the series conclusion. Agent: Matt Bialer, Sanford J. Greenburger Assoc. (May)