“Hannah Stander is a consultant for the FBI—a futurist who helps the Agency with cases that feature demonstrations of bleeding-edge technology. It’s her job to help them identify unforeseen threats: hackers, AIs, genetic modification, anything that in the wrong hands could harm the homeland.
Hannah is in an airport, waiting to board a flight home to see her family, when she receives a call from Agent Hollis Copper. “I’ve got a cabin full of over a thousand dead bodies,” he tells her. Whether those bodies are all human, he doesn’t say.
What Hannah finds is a horrifying murder that points to the impossible—someone weaponizing the natural world in a most unnatural way. Discovering who—and why—will take her on a terrifying chase from the Arizona deserts to the secret island laboratory of a billionaire inventor/philanthropist. Hannah knows there are a million ways the world can end, but she just might be facing one she could never have predicted—a new threat both ancient and cutting-edge that could wipe humanity off the earth.” (via Goodreads)
But it’s his characters that really sell his books. They are always realistically diverse without being pandering or tokens. Where he especially shines is in writing women. In Hannah Stander and Ez Choi, Wendig has yet again created outstanding female characters who defy tropes and forge their own destinies. Hannah is at once strong and weak, a woman always looking over her shoulder while pondering the future and riddled with a complicated, self-replicating guilt. Ez is brash and unashamed, as if the word “embarrassment” doesn’t exist in her vocabulary. Not that she has anything to be embarrassed about anyway. She is defiant in her verve for creepy crawlies and isn’t afraid to defend herself. I only wish we’d gotten a little more time with the two of them together. Their early chapters are everything I loved about the new Ghostbusters: full of Bechdel test passing female friendships between intellectual, funny, kind women…
Read the rest of this review at Tor.com.
The future is a door. Two forces—forces that we drive like horses and chariots, whips to their backs, wheels in ruts, great froth and furious vigor—race to that door. The first force is evolution. Humanity changing, growing, becoming better than it was. The second force is ruination. Humanity making its best effort to demonstrate its worst tendencies. A march toward self-destruction. The future is a door that can accommodate only one of those two competing forces. Will humanity evolve and become something better? Or will we cut our own throats with the knives we made?
Thanks to Harper Voyager for sending me a review copy.
Do the world a favor and buy this book from your local indie bookstore or get it from your public library.