Tor, 2015 (2015)
Reviewed by Hilary Williamson
is the sequel to
. She's an unusual author, one of the few who succeed in both science fiction and fantasy (in the latter, I recommend her urban fantasy series,
Breaking the Wall
). I hadn't read
and feel that it would have helped me to enjoy the sequel more to have done so, but was still able to appreciate
rtemis was a technologically advanced pleasure planet, its tech concealed and its animals and human workers all bioengineered to enhance the experience of guests. Five centuries after its inception, following a galactic war, the planet was lost to legend. Then young interstellar archeologist Griffin Dane crash landed there, as told in
. He was rescued by Huntress Adara who is psych-linked to a puma companion, Sand Shadow.
opens, Griffin, Adara, Sand Shadow and Terrell (trained to guide the pleasure seeking
who used to visit the planet) seek Maiden's Tear, a forbidden area that just might hold ancient technology. Finding it would allow Griffin to contact his ship in orbit, and hence share all he has discovered here. Complicating matters, both Griffin and Terrell are attracted to Adara, who wants neither as a lover.
villain of the piece, long-lived, ruthless loremaster, the
Old One Who Is Young
, is working against them, aided by Julyan, once a Hunter. Julyan wants Adara too, but as a captive under his total control. And the planet Artemis herself has come back to life with a personal identity and soul, and is in communication with Adara and Sand Shadow.
he good guys do gain entry to Maiden's Tear (whose AI, Leto, is not sure whether or not to trust them). But they are closely followed by the Old One, Julyan and three who have come from off-planet in search of Griffin. The latter do not really have his well-being in mind - they have other goals, of which Griffin greatly disapproves. He worries that perhaps he's found '
what should have been left lost
visionary who can see possible futures turns out to be the key to what unfolds. This episode ends with an immediate threat averted, but an even greater one looming. I'm looking forward to what comes next.
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