cover image Undercity


Catherine Asaro. . Baen, $15 trade paper (304p) ISBN 978-1-4767-3692-1

This expansion of Asaro%E2%80%99s 2011 novella, City of Cries, is the first book in a new series set in her well-established Skolian Empire universe. With the backdrop of galactic empires under threat, this detective story explores ideas and concepts that would feel right at home on Earth. PI Bhaajan is compelled to return to the underground slums on the planet where she grew up. She must confront an old lover, old pains, and a new sense of responsibility to protect a place that no longer feels quite like home, all while helping to retrieve a kidnapped prince and break a smuggling ring. The story is engaging, uplifting, and at times bittersweet. The world building is clearly well-established and thoughtful, from the interstellar empires to the unique civilization contained within the catacombs under the City of Cries. This is an excellent adventure, complete with complicated underground politics and cultural norms, with plenty of crossover appeal. Agent: Eleanor Wood, Spectrum Literary Agency. (Dec.)