cover image Cold Welcome

Cold Welcome

Elizabeth Moon. Del Rey, $28 (448p) ISBN 978-1-101-88731-8

Nebula-winner Moon’s popular far-future Vatta’s War series (Trading in Danger) roars on after a break of nearly a decade with this extended survival-and-rescue mission. Intrepid adventurer Kylara Vatta, a precocious Space Defense Force grand admiral at 29, blasts off in a shuttle to accept a hero’s welcome on the home planet of Slotter Key that she once left in disgrace—but she crashes on its least habitable icy continent. Familiar and colorful characters resurface, such as Ky’s rakish lover, Rafe Dunbarger, CEO of the vast Interstellar Communications, and Ky’s redoubtable great-aunt Grace Vatta, baker of clandestine fruitcakes and head of Slotter Key’s planetary defense. Abounding with a new set of piratical baddies, ramped-up military slang, assorted betrayals, and echoes of Shackleton’s incredible cold-weather trek, this lengthy space opera alternates among Ky in the planet’s coldest regions and a spooky tunnel environment, Aunt Grace’s political and economic machinations in the planetary capital, and Rafe’s paramilitary derring-do, all typical though flamboyant elements of Moon’s sci-fi mystery-action saga. Agent: Joshua Bilmes, JABberwocky Literary. (Apr.)