cover image Loki’s Ring

Loki’s Ring

Stina Leicht. Saga, $18.99 trade paper (512p) ISBN 978-1-982170-63-9

This thrilling space opera from Leicht (Persephone Station) kicks off with Search and Rescue captain Gita Chithra receiving a distress call from Ri, the artificial intelligence she raised like a daughter. Fascinating explorations of the early cognitive development of AI, their rights, and the recognition of personhood in non-humans come to the fore while Gita and her crew race to the mysterious, alien-constructed world of Loki’s Ring to rescue Ri. On arriving, Gita discovers the starship from which Ri transmitted adrift in space and filled with the corpses of its crew, who succumbed to a highly contagious biomechanical substance originating from an illegal mining operation. Then representatives of the hyper-capitalist Norton Independent Alliance appear at the crime scene, and the situation becomes a diplomatic nightmare. A sophisticated espionage subplot surfaces as Gita desperately appeals to a former friend to save herself, her crew, and her beloved Ri, while well-timed shifts between character perspectives reveal that nothing about Loki’s Ring or the mysterious contagion is quite what it seems. The result is a riveting cocktail of high-stakes adventure, philosophical musing, complex family dynamics, and cloak-and-dagger intrigue. Readers won’t want to put this down. Agent: Hannah Bowman, Liza Dawson Assoc. (Mar)