by Elaine Noel

"Mirus is a cognizant planet, but it’s gone silent."

Marie Sayer lives on Earth, her father’s home planet, and works as an engineer for a company called Space Link. When a Space Link ship disappears under mysterious circumstances soon after another ship’s crash, Marie must go to the planet Mirus to investigate. Despite the fact that Marie’s deceased mother was Mirun royalty, Marie does not know much about Mirus. Upon her arrival, Marie learns much more than just information about transport ships: the beautiful Mirun landscapes and wildlife are under threat from enterprising off-planet mining companies; the government seems complacent in selling off Mirus’ natural resources; and the once-aware planet itself has gone still. Marie must decide whether or not to help save the planet and, in doing so, accept her place in this strange and beautiful new world.

The author manages to pack action, political intrigue, and romance into one slim science fiction novel. Though these elements may seem disparate, Marie’s personal growth is always at the forefront of the plot and ties all the separate threads together. The worldbuilding is immaculate, with beautiful descriptions of Mirun landscapes and interiors, most of which are made of gemstones and feature bright colors. The text also describes mining tactics and the agriculture of this fully imagined world.

Action-packed as it is, the novel has many unexpected turns once the political tensions in Mirus come to a head. The pace becomes relentless for both Marie and the reader. This works thematically, but Mirus and its inhabitants are so intriguing that readers may long for more time lingering over the double-sunned horizon or enjoying the festivities at the Three-Moon Celebration. The author has created a vibrant and exciting world in Mirus and a main character worthy of her esteemed heritage.

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