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Publishers WeeklyIn this debut novel, Frith presents an intriguing if convoluted future where an interplanetary government enforces peace and controls science. Jake Jones is abducted at age five for scientific experiments. Sixteen years later, he is a murderer, liar, and person of interest to the government, a burgeoning rebellion, and a sexually voracious spaceship captain. His powers and experiences grant him cynical insights and a knack for spirited repartee, but his constant need for medications and illness during "jump-gate vortices" make him an atypical hero who can only survive by manipulating others. Occasional acts of humanity by those who train Jake provide contrast to his belief that "he was alone. He'd always be alone... an experiment right to the end," and gradually help him reach out to Frank Pak, an adversary turned friend. Apart from this transformation, the characters are fairly static. The strength of the narrative, however, will keep readers going to the end.
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