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Piercing Maybe
Dan Cray. Third Quandary, $16 trade paper (340p) ISBN 978-1-940317-07-6
This science fiction thriller tantalizes with a bold, intriguing, and original premise, touching on themes of human potential and the ethics of eugenics, but falls apart due to a lack of subtlety and plausibility. Andra Barger’s is the only human woman entrusted by the secret Cinüe race to help execute their 180,000-year-old diminishing program, by which every human child’s godlike capacities are eliminated by the stealthy placement of a gel on the mother’s palm at conception. Andra struggles with balancing her general opposition to this program, and her personal desire for an unaltered child, with politics that affect the lives of her loved ones. These concerns are amplified when, to her surprise, she is tapped to vote on the semicentennial Council’s reapproving the program. Cray (Mother Tongue) fails to reconcile the cloak-and-dagger nature of the diminishing process with a near-perfect success rate over millennia, and though Cinüe-created tools and environments are often evocatively described, an unsatisfying explanation of “arcane tech” is relied on for almost everything. Cray lets what could have been a thought-provoking story degenerate into a humans vs. others power fantasy. (BookLife)

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly on 10/12/2018

Release date 07/01/2018