Though billed as a novel about the Earth imperiled by a colliding asteroid, and though such an asteroid, called Icarus, does indeed threaten the planet in Hand’s third novel, readers should not expect a familiar near-future disaster thriller. Instead, Hand combines a variety of science fiction elements into an original and colorful weave. Hundreds of years in the future, various factions war over Earth’s fading resources, and ”geneslaves”?the products of genetic engineering?serve their human Masters. But that’s changing. An ancient military android, dubbed Metatron, has fomented a rebellion of the geneslaves. The Aviator ‘Imperator’ Margalis Tast’annin, who died at the end of Hand’s Winterlong but is now resurrected in a cyborg body, pursues Metatron. Meanwhile, other characters from Winterlong end up among the rebels. In all the confusion, warnings about the asteroid have gone unnoticed save by Metatron, who sees the coming cataclysm as the final blow against the Masters. Hand keeps the story moving briskly, and her future world is filled with vivid images made more striking by her evocative prose. The only drawback is the inconclusive ending?the story will obviously be resolved in a later book.