On a planet dedicated to the production of perfume, it may not pay to notice that something smells fishy. This spellbinding tale spills from the mind of Kathy Tyers in Crystal Witness. Ming Dalamani, a mind-wiped prisoner reeducated as a gel-calligrapher, must fight to remember who she was, and for what exact purpose she’s always been willing to die. Under constant threat of paralysis via probation collar, Ming struggles to regain equilibrium on Mannheim, a new and fascinating world dominated by the Renasco fragrance corporation. But the more Ming learns, the less she feels she can trust anyone. Intricately drawn characters and settings entice the imagination. From the pulse-pounding opening aboard a family-operated smuggling ship, through an unfortunately rushed conclusion, Crystal Witness exudes a galactic aroma that pulls in readers with strength like the vacuum of space.
Best for: Teens and adults seeking an unconventional space opera.
Discern: References to drug use.