Thanks to Macmillan-Tor/Forge and Netgalley for an advanced reader’s copy of this book.
Mia is the 100th in a generation of identical alien women named the Kibsu who outwardly appear completely human and have inherited a mandate to do all they can to get humanity able to travel to the stars. Each has one daughter to take up the mantle and they live by a rule of there cannot be three for long- thus the grandmother usually has to be the one to die. Despite the legacy, information has not reliably been passed down across the 3,000 years, and Mia no longer has clarity about her ancestors past and why they have this singular mission. Moreover, each generation has to guess her way into how to best support humanity’s space exploration breakthroughs.
Another family group of male aliens, filled with rage and hostility and known as the Trackers, has the singularly mission of stopping the women and recovering an ancient Sphere that they believe will enable them to put out a beacon from Earth to their race in order to find them. What’s unclear is whether the aliens will then surge to Earth to destroy humanity, and thus the race to the stars is actually a goal of salvaging humanity before this happens. Among the Trackers, Samael having been close to his human mother who’s softened much of the brutality inherent in his genes and the actions of his brothers and father, leads his brothers on a quest in Egypt based on an image of an ancient priestess holding up the elusive Sphere.
The year is 1968, and huge steps in space exploration from landing on the moon to setting up a space station to sophisticated probes to investigate the planets of the Milky Way unfold during the novel.
Mia has spent the 1960s raising her daughter Lola on Mallorca, until having to flee when Trackers catch up to them. Traveling around the world, they gather word about an ancient bow discovered in China that has symbols on it in their alien language. Lola becomes passionate about deciphering what it says.
Mia reaches an either brave or brash decision to stopping running and to confront the Trackers, and with that the tense plot is primed for the next book in the series!