by Tobias S. Buckell
Cover Artist: Todd Lockwood
Review by Tom Easton
Tor Books Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9780765319203
Date: 19 August 2008
List Price $26.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK
Links: Review by Bill Lawhorn / Show Article /
From official release/information:
Tobias S. Buckell introduced in Crystal Rain and Ragamuffin a universe in which humans were a persecuted minority. Under the alien-dominated Benevolent Satrapy, humans lived in reservations or ghettoes. Some worked as mercenaries for the alien overlords, the Satraps. Some existed as pampered pets. A few had managed ages before to flee to isolated worlds such as New Anegada, populated by a mixed bag of Caribbeans, Aztec wannabes, French-speakers, and others. Unfortunately, humans weren't the only ones fleeing the Satrapy; the Teotl had also come to New Anegada, where they set themselves up as gods for the Aztec types. Into this setting came the ancient warrior Pepper, who first had to sort out the conflicts on New Anegada, and then move out into the Satrapy, where humans were at last rebelling against the Satraps.
Welcome to Chilo, a planet with corrosive rain, crushing pressure, and deadly heat. Fortunately, fourteen-year-old Timas lives in one of the domed cities that float 100,000 feet above the surface, circling near the edge of a monstrous perpetual storm. Above the acidic clouds the temperature and pressure are normal. But to make a living, Timas like many other young men, is lowered to the surface in an armored suit to scavenge what he can.
Timas's life is turned upside down when a strange man crash lands on the city. The newcomer is fleeing an alien intelligence intent on invading the planet and discovering the secret hidden deep inside the perpetual storm—a secret that could lead to interplanetary war.
As the invaded cities fall silent one by one, Chilo's citizens must race against time to stop the enemy. And Timas will find out what kind of man he has become in the harsh conditions of Chilo's surface.
(Source: Tor Books)
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