cover image Until the Last of Me

Until the Last of Me

Sylvain Neuvel. Tordotcom, $26.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-250-26211-0

Neuvel’s thrilling second Take Them to the Stars alternate history (after A History of What Comes Next) continues the story of Mia, the hundredth generation of identical alien women living camouflaged on Earth, whose purpose is to nudge humanity toward space exploration. Still mourning her mother—who died to stop a Tracker, of another alien race bent on finding a device hidden by Mia’s ancestors—Mia spends much of the 1960s on Mallorca raising her daughter, Lola. When the Trackers catch up to them, Mia and Lola flee, crisscrossing the globe for 20 years while closely following the advances of the human space race. Word of an ancient bow discovered in China that might have a connection to their family’s past takes the women to China in 1981 amid extreme civil unrest. Meanwhile, Samael, the only Tracker raised to have some counterweight to his brutality by his human mother, leads his brothers through Egypt on a hunt for the device, chasing stories of an ancient priestess with exceptional powers. Though it lacks the nail-biting action of its predecessor, the focus on Lola’s emotional state and Samael’s struggle not to become a monster add depth to the drama. This is an exciting bridge to the next installment. (Mar.)