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Starfishers: The Starfishers Trilogy: Volume Two Paperback – April 1, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Cook's gloomy, operatic 1982 sequel to Shadowline continues the adventures of Moyshe benRabi, a morose refugee from the overcrowded, violent welfare slums of Old Earth. As he spies for the Confederation, benRabi must overlay his real personality with personas more suitable to the tasks at hand. Partnered with the vicious Mouse Storm, the small, brown, Oriental, Manchu-mustached scion of a fallen house of mercenaries, benRabi is dispatched to infiltrate the isolationist Seiners, a community of humans with a monopoly on the material that enables faster-than-light communications. BenRabi soon finds himself infatuated with Seiner society—and one Seiner in particular—and unexpectedly in contact with extraordinary alien beings. An apocalyptic battle sets the stage for the trilogy's conclusion, Stars' End, without which this volume is not really complete. (Apr.)
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Elaborate flashbacks provide a framework for the story and context for vicious betrayal by an old enemy that ensue after Mouse Storm and Moyshe BenRabi, sent to spy on the Seiners for the Confederation, are outed as spies fairly quickly. Suddenly, they're in the middle of something much bigger than they had expected when the Seiners are attacked by the implacable Sangaree and strange energy-sharks that feed on the great beasts of the vacuum called starfishers, which drift on the edge of known space and produce the ambergris that makes this world's space-travel technology possible. For Mouse and Moyshe, the situation is a tangled web of superstitions, legends, and facts too bizarre to be believed, building up into a big threat to the Confederation, with the Sangaree hovering, waiting for the moment to wreak vengeance. They are as delightful a pair of secret agents as one could hope for, engaged in a fascinating, layered adventure rife with riotously interesting space-opera elements and spectacular battles. --Jay Freeman
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