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I think the long break C.J. Cherryh took between Cyteen and Regenesis, its shorter sequel, did her a lot of good; certainly the sequel seems more concisely written and less bogged down in the narratives of unreliable narrators who are all having their heads messed with. I'm not going to go into a long plot summary here, because it would be completely useless if you hadn't read Cyteen, or at least some of the other books set in Cherryh's Alliance/Union universe; suffice it to say that Regenesis does a much better job than its predecessor of tying together a rather unique young woman's coming-of-age story with the power politics of Union and its uneasy relationships with the Merchanter's Alliance of Pell and distant, confused Earth. Cherryh also folds in a murder mystery, a spy novel, and a civil war without bloating the book to ox-stunning size or betraying the highly complex and quite bizarre (to our Earthbound, born-man eyes, at any rate) society where the Reseune labs program the cloned azi like robots and where psychological manipulation is an everyday fact of life...with long term consequences not even the skilled pysch operators of Reseune can envision. Excellent book, with lots of loose threads for another sequel, yet written well enough that the book can stand on its own without repeating too much background from the original. Highly recommended.

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