Aug 2011. 400 p. Del Rey, paperback, $15.00. (9780345508829)
In her second novel, Kasai returns to her sharply original world of human-animal somatics, mad scientists, and forest strongholds to continue the saga of Sorykah Minuit, the gender-switching Trader, and her increasingly autonomous male alter ego, Soryk. Having saved her infant twins from the psychotic manupulations of the Collector, Sorykah is intent on wresting her life back from the chaos of the past few months. Unfortunately, the sinister predations of the corporation she works for, an insidious new form of tattoo, a looming environmental disaster, and her alter’s increasingly insistent emergence into the world conspire to force her toward a destiny she never planned. Kasai’s haunting imagery is as beautiful and precise as in her first novel, but the occasional forays into florid prose and undeveloped ideas have been minimized, leaving readers with a slicker, faster, and more suspenseful story. For uniqueness and style, Kasai is one to keep watching.