Second novel in the series continues the voyage of Another Road, an independent starship trying to make a few bucks.
Hammond Roystan, captain of the ship, has a secret he can't remember and needs advanced medical attention or he'll die.
Nika Rik Terry, crew member, is a top-level body-modder who is on the run from a corporation that wants her secret body-exchange technology.
Snow has signed on as apprentice to Nika Rik Terry, but someone from his past wants him back!
Add to the mix the Justice Department, an interstellar agency that's corrupt and controlled by the big corporations.
And then consider the world known as Zell. You get there by carefully descending through an area of space known as the Funnel, and then you find yourself dangerously close to the ship-wrecking Vortex. The colonists, considered disposable by their corporation, have a secret – and they need Nika Rik Terry!
Yet again, this is a 'space opera' in which a band of shipmates must fight big corporations, corrupt law enforcement agents, and old enemies. Much combat ensues.
I found the novel to be a quick read, taking right off on the tail of the previous book. The subplot about Zell and the new characters seemed out of place at first, but eventually everything connected. Strong plot, lots of action, but still weak on well-developed characters. Seems to be the conclusion of this story arc. Combines space opera with a touch of classic exploration sci-fi.
If you didn't read the first book, stop and read it first. Otherwise you'll be missing a lot of background information.
Warning: There is a fair amount of death and some gruesome violence, but with body-modders around, survivors are healed swiftly.
Can you game it? The book again provides a variety of weapon types and skirmish situations, including space battles. The plot could easily be converted to a gaming campaign.
I had trouble keeping interest in this one, but it does wrap up the loose ends from the first book.
Reviewed by Editor in Chief Bill .