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Genevieve Valentine. S&S/Saga, $24.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-4814-2515-5

This near-future thriller shows what awaits in a world that conflates popularity with authority. Continuing the education of celebrity Suyana Sapaki, an Amazonian Face (ambassador) first encountered in Persona, the story follows her intimately as she negotiates a romantic relationship with the U.S. Face and the increasing distance from her ecoterrorist allies, all while avoiding more assassination attempts. Her assigned paparazzo, Daniel, has to resolve the conflicts between his loyalty to Suyana, forged during their earlier brushes with death, and his commitment to the undercover news service that wired him up with bodycam and mike. In a relentless arena of international relations as infotainment, characters struggle to maintain some sense of self-worth and privacy in spite of the round-the-clock scrutiny. The choices offered require picking the lesser of evils; the results may promise better times to come, but the system itself emerges as the biggest winner. The focus on Suyana’s day-to-day existence nicely displays the how politics can become reality TV, but it also makes the diplomatic maneuvering and politicking curiously distant and hard to follow. (July)