Wow! Kris Rusch has quickly become one of my favorite writers. I read more of her books in 2011 than anyone, I believe. I discovered two incredible series of hers which I adore. And she also did a SFFWRTCHT interview and became a friend. Nonetheless, this is the best Retrieval Artist book yet despite the fact that Miles Flint is a minor character. Yep. You heard me right. Flint is almost absent from the first half and only slightly more present in the second. But given the increasing importance of his role and the fact that this is the first Retrieval Artist novel I can remember which is not stand alone--the follow up will continue this story--I think he'll be more important in the next one.
Instead of Flint, this one centers around Noelle DeRicci and Bartholomew Nyquist as they investigate assassination attempts on major political figures and uncover a conspiracy which could change their entire universe forever. Yep. This is a major plot and the book centers around it and the affect it has on people who experienced the bombing of Armstrong in Consequences
, book 3 in the series. The book starts powerfully with a flashback to Nyquist's experience of the bombing and then jump to modern day, four years later, and mantains a relentless pace that never lets up.
This is a page turner in the classic sense. I couldn't put it down. Rusch, as usual, does a great job with inserting needed backstory and developing the characters, even Flint who has been developed so much in other stories. Here Flint is adjusting to fatherhood for the first time and that challenges him to grow and change in many ways. Nyquist is better developed as well and DeRicci, too.
This is the first Retrieval Artist book that I've read (I own them all and have read 4 including this) which does not involved disappearing. That isn't even part of the plot so far, which is surprising but refreshing and proves to be a very wise choice. Rusch has done the disappearing thing so many times and built the universe. This time we have the chance to examine a larger and different plot. And the alien races play no role so far either. So it's a new kind of Retrieval Artist book and one which opens up all kinds of possibilities but still great writing and very enjoyable.
Highly recommended for fans and anyone else. This would be a good entry way into the series for characters, although not so much the Retrieval Artist concept. But once you get hooked, you'll want to read the rest, fear not.