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Paul Di FilippoAfter establishing a wild-eyed premise (aliens change the laws of physics to suppress electricity, gunpowder and other high-energy phenomena), Stirling proceeded with scrupulous and ingenious realism to show how the survivors of the Change could reconstruct a tolerable level of civilization. In this book, his focus has shifted from the elder generation to those born into the new world and raised to adulthood knowing no other. A stranger riding into peaceful Oregon from the East attracts the attention of a militaristic cult known as the Church Universal and Triumphant. The man seems to play a part in their prophecies, and dangerously questing into the very heart of their empire seems to be the only way for him to deal with the matter. Sword-arm strength and a pure heart are no guarantee of victory in Stirling's suspenseful story.
—The Washington Post