The novel is packed with so much speculative science, from so many different disciplines, that I finished stunned it was written by one person. McCague is Asimov-like in her command of so many different branches of knowledge, combined with an artist’s sense of timing and story. Only she’s a bit funnier than Isaac, which helps when you think the world is going to end.
But don’t let the science pin you in your own trench. McCague has created a cast that includes scientists with different specialties as well as non-scientists. The physicists talk to biologists who talk to doctors as they all need each others' help. The reader benefits from the cross-study conversations. In most cases, when I had a question, someone else inside the book did too. And it was answered.
“Did they stridulate?” Bernie asked.
“That’s a fancy word.” And Bernie goes on to explain it. Not in lecture form. We’re all adults here.
Before you plunge into this one, you’re better off reading McCague’s Rosetta Man. But I would’ve told you that before a sequel ever appeared, looming over the literary field like a Zeppelin, with loudspeakers blaring “Peace to all. The science can be as fun as the fiction. I’ve brought squirrels to prove it.”