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Publisher's Summary

The saga of two young friends trapped in an endless nightmare of suspicion and surveillance, of cyber-programmed servants and a ruling class with century-long lives - and the enigmatic woman who dominates them all. Narrators Jonathan Davis and Gabra Zackman skillfully split up this sweeping sci-fi epic that is "at once a psychological novel, a murder mystery, and an examination of power on a grand scale." (Locus)
©1988 C.J. Cherryh (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
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Critic Reviews

Hugo Award, Best Novel, 1989

“Strongly recommended…. A future as detailed as that of Herbert’s Dune, with dozens of complex characters…. all the paranoid tension of a spy thriller.” ( Newsday)
“A massive, multifaceted novel that tackles a variety of ethical, social, and political issues…. Cherryh’s worldbuilding is ambitious and her main characterizations are well-individualized…. Ultimately fascinating in concept and detail. Decidedly a major work.” ( Booklist)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By troy on 05-20-12

This is a Heavy Book (lovely too)

Every now and again you read a story at the right time in your life. Stuff was going on around me, and this story gave me perspective. It's wonderful when SciFi can help and inspire in the non-fiction world.

I am avoiding talking about the plot or the characters, because I don't want to give anything away.

The world building that takes place in this novel is astounding. It fully fleshes out a universe where sustainable economic systems work... sometimes you run into stories where planets only have one theme or purposes, like in Star Trek TNG - Risa the pleasure planet full of vacation resorts. This book actually makes sense.

I wouldn't have thought a story full of psychologists would be worth while, but Cherryh does an outstanding job.

This novel is definitely worth finishing.

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27 of 28 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Lisa on 05-23-12

Sci-Fi at its best!

I'm generally not a reader of sci-fi, but murder and intrigue set 3 thousand years in the future caught my attention. The detail of the story is extraordinary. What a marvelous imagination this author has! I want to hear more, but this is the only one of Ms. Cherryh's books currently available.

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12 of 13 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Sam on 06-30-13

Value for money

I wouldn't class this as a murder mystery at all and it never really gets to where you want it to go. Some of the more fascinating aspects are never explored while others get way too much attention.

However, as a concept it's great, tells a good story and the character development is fantastic. Overall very good value for money

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By Voxsmart on 07-10-13

Soporific boring start

Although well read, this book sent me to sleep within fifteen minutes or so, I tried several times to listen to it.
The start of the book was so boring! I like at least a little interesting action at the beginning of a book to keep my interest.
I realise a foundation must be set out to give the story structure, but if it make you sleepy then it's not for me. I guess some would love the political type boring banter it starts with.

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2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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