cover image The City in the Middle of the Night

The City in the Middle of the Night

Charlie Jane Anders. Tor, $26.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-7653-7996-2

Nebula Award winner Anders (All the Birds in the Sky) sets this riveting genre-bender on a tumultuous planet split into frigid darkness and searing sunlight. On the lighter side, in the rigidly controlled city of Xiosphant, shy student Sophie adores her friend, the outspoken Bianca. After Sophie takes the fall for Bianca’s petty theft, she’s left to die in the frozen wasteland, but she establishes a psychic bond with the creature that saves her. This connection gives her heartbreaking insight into the world of a sentient race Sophie dubs the Gelet, who have been hunted relentlessly by humans. Sophie later reunites with Bianca, now a violent revolutionary, and they fall in with a group of smugglers, including the fierce Mouth, who seeks an artifact linking her to her nomadic ancestors. After an outbreak of violence, they flee Xiosphant, and Sophie is shocked to learn that Bianca wants to use the Gelet, labeling them “animals.” Anders’s worldbuilding is intricate, embracing much of what makes a grand adventure: smugglers, revolutionaries, pirates, camaraderie, personal sacrifice, wondrous discovery, and the struggle to find light in the darkness. This breathlessly exciting and thought-provoking tale will capture readers’ imaginations. [em]Agent: Russell Galen, Scovil Galen Ghosh Literary. (Feb.) [/em]