'One of the finest novels of virtual reality yet written.'—SF Site on The Accord
(Most recent edition: October 2011; infinite press. Hardback, Victor Gollancz, 1992; first US edition September 2001 from the Wildside Press imprint, Cosmos.)
For Katya Tatin, a passionate believer in and employee of the Holy Corporation of GenGen, the opportunity to join the mission to the recently rediscovered colony of Expatria is much more than a chance to spread the gospel. For her, it represents a break with the past on Earth, with the Consumer Wars and the subversives who seek to undermine the standing of the Holy Corporation itself. It offers a chance to reconfirm her faith.
On Expatria itself, and on the ancient arkships that orbit it, the news of the impending arrival of a mission from Earth further complicates an already murderously complex web of religious and political intrigue. For some, it looks like salvation from a backward-looking, superstition-ridden society; for others, it looks suspiciously like an invasion.
"For Katya, a devout apparatchik of the Holy Corporation of GenGen, her voyage to newly colonised Expatria is a chance to confirm a faith that has been undermined by her rebellious brother. That subversion, though, has only just begun in a story that brilliantly shows a world in which religious belief is used to secular advantage--where creeds are implanted along with genes."
"I have to admit to being truly astonished that this book, which is a direct sequel to Expatria, is neither simply the second half of one long story nor is it a lazy reworking of the first in a slightly different form. What we have here is a first-class novel of character that just happens to be set on the same world and use some of the same characters as the first novel. Keith Brooke has achieved something quite rare, in that the characters who we first met and saw grow and change in the first novel we now encounter and, knowing where they are coming from, can watch and enjoy and see them grow and change anew when their society changes due to new and different pressures. The first novel was of pressures from within, this one is of pressure from without, and both explore the effects superbly."
(Paul Brazier, Nexus)