Tor, 2001 (1999)
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Reviewed by Hilary Williamson
is 3rd in a series, following
. I devoured Flynn's first book, enjoyed the second, and struggled to complete this one. The series revolves around the aristocratic Mariesa van Huyten and her lifelong focus on the threat posed to Earth by asteroids. Her past efforts have resulted in a manned Low Earth Orbit (LEO) station. At this late stage, after a series of betrayals, Mariesa has lost control of Van Huyten Industries. However she still exerts a powerful, if subtle, influence and uses it to keep the sky watch going.
his is just as well as there is growing evidence that asteroids are being tampered with, and nudged towards Earth. However, as is the case with current theories of doom and gloom, there are many who disbelieve, including the current President. This danger of asteroids is the main theme of the series but there are many sub-plots to follow and a large cast of characters - so many that it is hard to keep track of them (this is a characteristic of many series that stretch beyond the first few books).
hat Flynn does exceedingly well in these tales is to lay out a near-term future with very credible details. He produces interesting societal developments, such as the sisterhoods, of which cadet Jacinta Rosario is a member (she is an engaging new character introduced in
). The author also details fascinating interactions of the Fingers - superhackers with net personas in a
where image is reality
' - and his future slang brings his characters to life.
f you haven't tried this series yet, go back and start with
; it's too hard to pick up in the middle. Though I found
over-complicated, I am still intrigued enough with the premise and with Flynn's characters to want to read the next one. I'm curious to see the continued evolution of his world and to find out who or what has been throwing asteroids.
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