2107 AD: A generation ago, Earth and the cislunar colonies banned genetic and cybernetic modifications. But out in the Asteroid Belt, anything goes. Dozens of flourishing space habitats are spawning exotic new societies and strange new varieties of humans. It's a volatile situation that threatens the peace and stability of the entire solar system. Emerald Blair is a Troubleshooter. Inspired by the classic superhero comics of the twentieth century, she's joined with other mods to try to police the unruly Asteroid Belt. But her loyalties are tested when she finds herself torn between rival factions of superhumans with very different agendas. Emerald wants to put her special abilities to good use, but what do you do when you can't tell the heroes from the villains?
Reviewed on 31st March 2014
I've read a number of Christopher L Bennett's Star Trek tie-in novels, and have been reading online for a long time about this book, an original work looking at the 22nd Century life of a group of genetically-engineered superheroes.
I found the book really interesting, although in places hard going. The narrative gets a bit bogged down with technical details, then flips into fast-paced action scenes. These were actually what interested me least, and several times I found my attention drifting and had to turn back a page or two to work out what was going on.
The plot gets quite complex, and does well to keep the reader guessing all the way to the end, although it gets to the point of ridiculousness in trying to tie your thinking up in knots. The main character is strong, and I really liked the way that the backstory was given interspersed throughout the narrative in 'origin story' chapters. In fact, I found these sequences the best in the novel.
The book does have a similar overall feel to it as Bennett's Trek novels, though I didn't find it had quite the power to grip me. Certainly an interesting novel, but a little too much toward hard science fiction for my tastes.