SFF

The City in the Middle of the Night

Tor. Feb. 2019. 368p. ISBN 9780765379962. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466871137. SF
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OrangeReviewStarThe planet of January was colonized long ago, but now it is dying. Half is frozen and dark, half is caught in eternal blazing light. The strict autonomy of Xiosphant, one of two surviving cities along with Argelo, causes some of the younger generation to bristle. Influenced by her crush on the vivacious Bianca, Sophie is drawn into revolutionary ideas, then forced to leave town for something Bianca did. Being exiled is usually a death sentence, but Sophie meets one of the creatures native to the planet called "crocodiles," who shows her strength and intelligence no other human has encountered. Trying to stay hidden, Sophie is drawn into a journey with a group of outsiders, including the trader Mouth. As Sophie and Mouth try to reconcile the pasts with the present, they are forced to face how their world has been changed by the arrival of humans and what must happen for both to survive.
VERDICT Anders (All the Birds in the Sky) weaves an intricate tale of colonialism and evolution on both physical and social levels. The harsh world and well-developed characters combine with stunning storytelling that will capture readers' minds and hearts.

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