I picked up this book because it was recommended by the author as a good book to start with (I thought that I had not yet read anything by L.E.). I had forgotten that I had read another book of his before – Flash – which I had liked. I also have the Magic of Recluse books on my list of “to buy” books for the future some time. I’m interested to see where L.E. takes me with his fantasy as compared to what I’ve sampled of his SciFi.

This book reminded me a lot of the Elijah Bailey (Robot) books by Asimov. It had that same outsider feel with strange environments and the same mysterious/dangerous elements of people trying to stop the main character from discovering the truth.

The main character, Paulo, also reminds me a lot of Elijah. He is smart, good at hand-to-hand combat, and has knack for asking the right questions. He was as fun to get to know as Elijah was.

The main plot revolves around Paulo’s assignment to do a study on ecological impacts in relation to the planet Stittara. The problem is that the planet is the source of products that give youth and health to everyone. What if he finds something that will ruin that? And why does the government have to send him in the first place when they will be out of power by the time he arrives? There is a strange struggle between those who live on the land and those who live beneath it. And, of course, Paulo’s conflicts with the companies with offices on the planet and some of their work.

There are lots of twists and turns in this book, which makes it an interesting read. There were lots of details about space and ecology that also made me feel smarter after reading it – which is a bonus in my opinion.

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