City of Shattered Light
When 17-year-old tech heiress Asanna “Asa” Almeida, who has light brown skin, discovers that her amoral father has used her sister Kaya’s brain as part of a controversial program involving alien remains to control technology, she has no recourse but to steal Kaya’s biocapsule and flee her comfortable home on the planet Cortellion in the hopes of restoring Kaya to normal. But when Asa’s ship is forced to make an emergency landing on the crime syndicate–controlled moon of Requiem, she encounters 18-year-old Riven Hawthorne, a white smuggler looking for a hefty payday. With bounty hunters and a self-aware computer virus searching for Asa and the priceless technology she holds, she joins Riven’s crew as they attempt to get Asa to Earth; to survive a city filled with danger, the two teenage girls must find a way to trust one another. In this ambitious, action-packed debut, Winn offers a fast-paced adventure populated by memorable characters. At times, the constant sense of danger and imminent betrayal feels slightly overwhelming and claustrophobic, but Asa and Riven’s considerable chemistry and interpersonal development fuel this satisfying speculative series opener. Ages 12–up. Agent: Cortney Radocaj, Belcastro Agency. (Oct.)
Correction: A previous version of this review misidentified a character's ethnicity.