"Fast-paced action . . . first-rate sf space adventure" (Library Journal) from the #1 New York Times–bestselling author of Star Wars: Thrawn. Deep in space lies the black hole known as Angelmass, so called because it emits enigmatic particles with the unusual ability to render humans calm, reasonable, and incapable of lying—which would normally be seen as a good thing. But not by everyone. For while Empyrean human colonies on the edge of the galaxy utilize the power of the "angels," the Earth-based Pax empire views the emissions as a threat that could be used to subvert humanity. Academic Jereko Kosta is pressed into service by the Pax to spy on the Empyrean, joining the crew of a ship actively hunting the particles. But what he learns turns out to be both scientifically fascinating and morally frightening. When the Pax make an aggressive move that may lead to all-out war with the Empyrean, Kosta is the only one who can stop the conflict between the human powers and force them to see that the angels they're about to fight over are far from holy . . . Timothy Zahn combines provocative ethical questions with the same level of vivid sci-fi action that made his Star Wars: Thrawn a New York Times bestseller to deliver "a serious SF novel sneakily posing as an enormous golden-age thrill ride" (Locus).
by Timothy Zahn
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