For the First Time, Again

Tor.com. (Take Them to the Stars, Bk. 3). Apr. 2023. 320p. ISBN 9781250262578. $27.99. SF
When young Aster narrowly survives a massacre at an office party, she is not only left an orphan (albeit an adopted one), but her blood work has shown some very unusual results. On the run, Aster finds herself in the company of a man, Samael, who says that he knew her mother—and that she is the Kibsu, last of an alien race that came to Earth centuries ago. As Aster struggles to accept her heritage, she must elude those pursuing her, including the government, the evil Trackers, and some other very strange people. Aster must also learn the Rules her progenitors followed and try to accomplish their goal: to send humanity to the stars. Balancing actual historic events with the alien pursuit creates an active story. Alternating points of view between Aster and Samael, along with several intervals about the origin of the aliens’ arrival, fill in the final pieces of this science-fiction puzzle.
VERDICT The final volume of Neuvel’s generational alien conflict (following Until the Last of Me) takes the space race in new directions.
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