cover image The Enceladus Crisis

The Enceladus Crisis

Michael J. Martinez. Skyhorse/Night Shade, $15.99 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-1-59780-504-9

The riveting but somewhat whiplash-inducing sequel to The Daedaelus Incident flips between an alternate 1798, where Napoleonic and English frigates battle in outer space, and 2134 stemming from our present, in which Lt. Cmdr. Shaila Jain is leading the first human survey of Saturn. A corporate Chinese ship is trying to beat the military there, only to discover something unpleasant in the ice of Saturn’s moon Enceladus. In 1798, Capt. Thomas Weatherby of the HMS Fortitude, who has “plumbed the jungles of Venus... tasted the ice of Europa, explored the mines of Mercury,” pursues a French ship to Saturn’s rings and becomes embroiled in a partisan struggle between rival factions of the alien Xan, some of whom are allied with the French. Split timelines with multiple characters make for a disorienting first half, but readers who stick with it will be rewarded with a uniquely imaginative science fantasy tale. (May)