City of Shattered Light

North Star Editions/Flux. Oct. 2021. 400p. pap. $11.99. ISBN 9781635830712.
Gr 9 Up–Winn begins this science fiction thriller with action right from the start. Alternating perspectives first introduce silver-haired Riven Hawthorne, who lives on the renegade Requiem. She does heist jobs with her crew, and when one of her missions is thwarted by bounty hunter Morphett Slade, Winn finds herself in trouble with the crime overlord, owing a hefty sum of money. Asa Almeida is heir to the tech firm Almeida Labs, run by her corrupt father, Luca, on the wealthy planet Cortellion. While working on some new technologies, with rumors of dubious methods, Asa discovers her sister Kaya’s mind was transferred to a living Etri organ, a brain-like biostructure. Asa steals the artificial organ in a biocapsule in order to reunite it with her sister’s body and escape the tyranny of their father. She lands on Requiem with the aid of Morphett. Riven meanwhile, aiming to get back at Morphett, steals the bounty, knowing this might help pay down her debt. While all this is happening, a computer virus called Banshee is spreading, threatening everyone’s safety as it also hunts for the biocapsule. A love triangle develops among medic Ty, a member of Riven’s crew who is described as having striking eyes and ginger blonde hair, Asa, and Riven, though the development of the relationships feel a bit like an afterthought and the romance doesn’t play a large role in the story. The fast pace keeps readers interested and desirous of the next book. LGBTQ+ relationships are well represented.
VERDICT A good choice for science fiction shelves needing more LGBTQ representation and readers wanting nonstop action.

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