In the riveting sequel to "The Powers That Be" , the sentient planet Petaybee becomes an active force in its inhabitants' battle to prevent the ruling Intergal Company's rape of the planet in search of minerals. When a Petaybean delegation tries to inform Intergal's board of directors of the planet's sentience, the group is accused of being under "some sort of massively induced hypnotic illusion," and an official inquiry is set in motion. One of the two investigators, an unsavory and manipulative board member, sets out at once to turn events to his advantage; the other gets to know and works with the people, eventually siding with them. Key players on the Petaybean side are intelligent, mind-speaking felines, who serve as the lines of communication between the isolated human settlements. The main thrust of the story involves the maneuverings of the opposing sides; however, there's a strong, lyrical thread, steeped in Inuit and Celtic lore, that fleshes out the characters, including Petaybee itself, and fills in details of how life has evolved since the planet was first terraformed and stocked with genetically engineered flora and fauna. This is a suspenseful page-turner, well laced with humor, which readers of the first book will welcome.