Reviews

Library Journal
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

In order to protect her people, Kamoj Quanta Argali agrees to marry Jax Ironbridge, whose quixotic mood swings both attract and terrify her. The arrival of Havyrl Lionstar, a visitor from a distant planet, brings about political changes that instead force Kamoj into a marriage with the alien stranger. The latest in Asaro's "Skolian Empire" series (e.g., Primary Inversion) details the lives of a trio of powerful individuals whose lives mirror the complexities of the worlds in which they move. A good choice for large sf collections. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

With new releases from different publishers, Asaro proves a double threat this month. In The Phoenix Code, artificial intelligence expert Megan O'Flannery gets a chance to work in the race to develop a self-aware android. She becomes the human interface with the current prototype, RS-4, which, like virtually all such prototypes in sf, is determined to escape. Trying to prevent it, Megan enlists the aid of eccentric robotics genius Raj Sundaram, but then the escaping android kidnaps both of them. Now their lives depend on how fast they can socialize RS-4, and since it is behaving, again according to tradition, like an overbrained, undersocialized teenage boy, the critical burden of the task falls on Megan. A well-executed reworking of a classic sf tale, lighthearted without being silly, and irresistible for at least one thorough reading. The Quantum Rose, Asaro's new Skolian Empire yarn, bolsters her reputation for skillfully putting classic romance elements in an sf setting. Kamoj governs a minor province on a planet settled 5,000 years ago by genetically engineered slaves. Jax Ironbridge, a neighboring ruler, seeks her hand. It is a good match, until a mysterious alpha male type, Lionstar, wanders in and starts courting Kamoj. Lionstar is actually Vryl, an exiled prince of the Roca line of Skolian royalty. He possesses the Roca's psionic powers in full and fights that burden with a drinking problem. The fight over Kamoj leaves scars everywhere, including on her. Then she and Vryl repair to his birth world and use his Roca powers to restore its independence. The requisite happy ending arrives by way of sound characterization, straightforward plotting, abundant world building detail, and almost as much humor. --Roland Green


Publishers Weekly
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

The sixth volume in the Saga of the Skolian Empire (Primary Inversion; The Radiant Seas; etc.) is a freestanding page-turner as a romance, with a hard science framework. It begins in an idyllic forest bathing pool on the backwater world of Balumil. Kamoj Quanta Argali, attractive young female governor of a poor province with decaying traces of millennia-old technology, notices the mysterious off-worlder, Havyrl Lionstar, watching her dress. Retreating in consternation, she also attempts to hide fromDand thus offendsDher lifelong fianc, Jax Ironbridge, overbearing governor of a wealthier neighboring province. Soon Havyrl (brother of previous protagonists in the series) blunders into outbidding Jax for marriage with Kamoj. Jax objects violently and reclaims Kamoj by force, puzzling the off-worlder, whose presence by then is entangling the provincial governors in the imperial politics of the wider universe. The gender-role elaboration in the maneuvers that follow will seem overdetailed to some readers, but fascinating to others. To Havyrl and his staff, Balumil is a rediscovered colony; hence they spend a lot of time explaining to Kamoj the significance of the quasimagical remnants of technology in her culture. Desperate for clues to understanding the wider universe as her planet's isolation ends, Kamoj proves to be as brainy as she is beautiful. Agent, Eleanor Wood of Spectrum. (Dec. 18) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

With new releases from different publishers, Asaro proves a double threat this month. In The Phoenix Code, artificial intelligence expert Megan O'Flannery gets a chance to work in the race to develop a self-aware android. She becomes the human interface with the current prototype, RS-4, which, like virtually all such prototypes in sf, is determined to escape. Trying to prevent it, Megan enlists the aid of eccentric robotics genius Raj Sundaram, but then the escaping android kidnaps both of them. Now their lives depend on how fast they can socialize RS-4, and since it is behaving, again according to tradition, like an overbrained, undersocialized teenage boy, the critical burden of the task falls on Megan. A well-executed reworking of a classic sf tale, lighthearted without being silly, and irresistible for at least one thorough reading. The Quantum Rose, Asaro's new Skolian Empire yarn, bolsters her reputation for skillfully putting classic romance elements in an sf setting. Kamoj governs a minor province on a planet settled 5,000 years ago by genetically engineered slaves. Jax Ironbridge, a neighboring ruler, seeks her hand. It is a good match, until a mysterious alpha male type, Lionstar, wanders in and starts courting Kamoj. Lionstar is actually Vryl, an exiled prince of the Roca line of Skolian royalty. He possesses the Roca's psionic powers in full and fights that burden with a drinking problem. The fight over Kamoj leaves scars everywhere, including on her. Then she and Vryl repair to his birth world and use his Roca powers to restore its independence. The requisite happy ending arrives by way of sound characterization, straightforward plotting, abundant world building detail, and almost as much humor. --Roland Green