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WesternSFA
Circle Tide
by Rebecca K. Rowe
Edge, $14.95, 271 pp
Release Date: August 15, 2011

Circle Tide is Ms Rowe’s second fiction novel, following Forbidden Cargo, and debuted at the 69th WorldCon.

The world that Noah lives in is an integrated virtual reality controlled by the Order, a psycho political power that also provides intellectual and virtual enhancements to care for the world they created.

Noah is called to aid a senator who needs him to carry data for her because she believes part of the Order is the enemy. When Noah gets there, he is witness to the senator’s murder and is now hunted. In the underworld beneath the city he is joined by Rika who has discovered a way to stop the invasive fungus that is taking over. She, too, joins the ranks of the hunted before the antidote can be delivered to the senator. Can they stop the destruction before the world as they know it ends?

Ms. Rowe has provided us with a frightening but enticing world that draws us in as the distinction between reality and virtual reality is blurred. We are carried along by engaging well-drawn characters within the parameters of a rapid fire action adventure with thoughts about freedom and responsibility and what is humanity. This is a keeper. Time to get out the plastic and enjoy. ~~ Pam Allan

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