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Rated 4.67/5 based on 3 reviews
An idealistic shape changer at a pharmaceutical company discovers corporate secrets that hide surprisingly vile plans. Someone is willing to kill to protect mysteries the company has worked so hard to hide. On a sales trip to the South Pacific, he is charged with murder, hunted by an unsavory boot camp manager, and must finally use his unique abilities to resist becoming the next murder victim. More

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About Sherrie Cronin

Sherrie Roth grew up in Western Kansas thinking that there was no place in the universe more fascinating than outer space. After her mother vetoed astronaut as a career ambition, she went on to study journalism and physics in hopes of becoming a science writer. She published her first science fiction short story in 1979 and then waited a lot of tables while she looked for inspiration for the next story. When it finally came, it declared to her that it had to be whole book, nothing less. One night, while digesting this disturbing piece of news, she drank way too many shots of ouzo with her boyfriend. She woke up thirty-one years later demanding to know what was going on.

The boyfriend, who she had apparently long since married, explained that in a fit of practicality she had gone back to school and gotten a degree in geophysics and had spent the last 28 years interpreting seismic data in the oil industry. The good news, according to Mr. Cronin, was that she had found it at least mildly entertaining and ridiculously well-paying The bad news was that the two of them had still managed to spend almost all of the money. Apparently she was now Mrs. Cronin, and the further good news was that they had produced three wonderful children whom they loved dearly, even though to be honest that is where a lot of the money had gone. Even better news was that Mr. Cronin turned out to be a warm-hearted, encouraging sort who was happy to see her awake and ready to write. "It's about time," were his exact words.

Sherrie Cronin discovered that over the ensuing decades Sally Ride had already became the first woman in space and apparently did a fine job of it. No one, however, had written the book that had been in Sherrie's head for decades. The only problem was, the book informed her sternly that it had now grown into a six book series. Sherrie decided that she better start writing it before it got any longer. She's been wide awake ever since, and writing away.

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Reviews

Review by: Sarah (Workaday Reads) on Dec. 02, 2013 :
This was an intriguing book that happened to teach me a little bit of knowledge on a lot of varied subjects, all while focusing on an exciting plot and enthralling characters. I’d never have believed that a book could take a murder mystery, a missing person mystery, paranormal abilities, fire dancing, pharmaceuticals, South Pacific geography and history, and meritocracy teachings and turn it into one cohesive story. Yet this book managed it.

I loved how all the various elements played into each other in a smooth and believable manner, yet there was very little info dumping. Instead, the learnings where pieced out in appropriately small bits during the applicable parts in the story. This was truly a globe-spanning tale.

The characters were quite an intriguing mix. Zane was an incredibly talented and morale-guided young man. Toby was a mysterious yet helpful father-figure. Afi was sweet, and I wanted every happiness for him. Joy was incredibly strong, and so supportive. All the secondary characters, and even the bad guys, were also well developed and a delight to encounter.

Overall, this was a story that took me completely by surprise because while I expected to like it, I ended up loving it. There is so much in the story, yet it never gets confusing or overwhelming. I picked up this story during a free download special, and I definitely regret not picking up the other books in the series at the same time. Speaking of which, this may be the second book in the series, but it is a completely stand alone story, which is always great to find.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Bob Craton on June 05, 2013 :
Having read Ms. Cronin's previous novel x0, I had high expectations for this book and I was not disappointed. This is a marvelously complex tale combining a credible murder mystery with South Seas romance and corporate intrigue. Filled with a cast of real and likeable characters, plus a few bad ones too, it tackles major social and ethical issues without being preachy and it's all wrapped up in a highly entertaining story that grabs your attention and keeps it. Plus, I love books with multiple intertwined story lines which all merge together before the end.

Ms. Cronin clearly does a great deal of research to ensure that the realism part of her magical realism is in fact accurate, and the fantasy elements are very well done. I don't want to give spoilers so just take my word for it - this book is excellent. No wait; don't take my word for it. Read it yourself.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: carmen on Feb. 05, 2013 :
interesting and quikey...having 3 stories revolving around till they start to blend kept me reading...really enjoyed and look forward to X0 and Z2 loved the interactive parts
carmenmarcia
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

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