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KLIATTNate Black is a reformed hacker who thought his high school antics were well erased. However, he starts getting emails from @, who threatens to uncover his criminal past as Azrael. When Nate tries to escape his stalkers, he finds himself in a parallel universe where computers are nonexistent—but his captors still want his knowledge. Nate finds himself a prisoner, beaten up, with no one to understand him. The monk-like powers consider him to be an animal, little better than the silent ghadi slaves. Nate slowly learns about the struggle between evil Ghad and his brother Mankin, and finds that his captors consider him an Angel of Death—but for whom—and how? The journey that Nate takes to learn about this land and its languages should intrigue computer programmer wannabees. Fantasy lovers will enjoy the mythological underpinnings of the twisting plot. Linguists will enjoy the word play. Sometimes the details get a bit murky, but the overall story is an enjoyable read. KLIATT Codes: SA—Recommended for senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2004, Penguin, DAW, 377p., Ages 15 to adult.
—Dr. Lesley Farmer