cover image The Diamond Deep: Book 2 of Ruby’s Song

The Diamond Deep: Book 2 of Ruby’s Song

Brenda Cooper. Pyr, $18 trade paper (450p) ISBN 978-1-61614-855-3

In this unappealing second half of a space opera duology (after The Creative Fire) based loosely on the life of Evita Perón, Cooper bites off far more than she can chew, muddling her original saga of overcoming oppression with a first-contact narrative that falls completely flat. The bickering factions on the damaged generation ship Creative Fire have reached a compromise. There are still pockets of resistance, especially among the laboring “reds,” but thanks to Ruby Martin’s selfless leadership and the aid of the ship’s AI, the ship is integrated and its inhabitants are working as a cohesive group. Reaching their home system in a functioning ship turns out to be a simple task, though, compared with trying to understand the differences that generations apart have created between the ship’s inhabitants and those on their originating planet of Adiamo. Stilted language, a one-track plot, and Ruby’s distinct lack of Evita’s talent for leadership and politics make this limp novel one to miss. Agent: Eleanor Wood, Spectrum Agency. (Oct.)