From Publishers Weekly: Set in the same far-future universe as Crystal Rain (2006), in which the ruling alien Satrapy has confined humanity to the fringes of a confederation of worlds linked by wormholes, Buckell's second SF novel provides plenty of gun play and close calls for his heroes. The Satraps now seek the all-out destruction of the Raga, descendants of an Earth island culture. A young Raga woman, Nashara, attempts to evade capture from a determined pursuer, just as the wormhole to her home, Nanagada, mysteriously reopens. Meanwhile, the aliens who control Nanagada struggle for power, Teotl against Loa, while humans play them against each other, hoping to break their iron control. As the political situation destabilizes, Nashara and her friends appear, and total war for the right of humanity to live free becomes inevitable. Buckell plays with Caribbean and Aztec cultures, bending their exotic flavor to technology-flavored ends. Though the ending is never in doubt, the twisty ride getting there is a lot of fun.
Tobias Buckell comes as close as anyone in the opening chapters of this book to reproducing the frissons of one of my favorite novels: Earthblood (1966), by Keith Laumer and Rosel George Brown. The sense of humans downtrodden by aliens, with the lone-wolf protagonist bravely fighting to restore the race's glory—all of that comes across delightfully, and it's grand stuff. Like Laumer and Brown, Buckell also has a keen grasp of sensory detail. His future environments are incredibly rich in smells, tactility and visuals. One gets instantly immersed in the sense of a truly lived-in future. ...
Buckell keeps all his plates spinning wildly and entertainingly enough to make the whole scenario ultimately a cohesive, comprehensible and entertaining one. This book is full of wild-eyed action—such as Nashara's mad escape down the axis of the O'Neill colony—feats of bravery, exotic beings and odd ways of thought, startling uses of technology and bold manifestos on freedom. And although it comes to a satisfying conclusion, I expect that this is not the last we'll be seeing of these "duppy conquerors."
This is modern space opera at its finest. I can't wait for the next installment.