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When Andrew Haldran decides not to follow the traditional pattern of being genetically augmented, his family moves to another world.
"Focus,you have to focus," Andrew's father tells him from the time he is small until he turns fifteen, but it never happens. It should have. At sixteen, all his friends are happily declaring a choice of profession and marching off to have their focus genetically enhanced, but Andrew cannot decide what to focus on. He is interested in everything. If he hadn't been so indecisive, his dad, mom, two little sisters and he would have stayed on Earth. Instead,his father accepts a lucrative job to "mine" the aliens of faraway Miners World for tidbits of technological information worth millions to the company who hires him.
It looks like a safe posting, an easy way to a secure future for the whole family, but from the moment they arrive and are greeted by the enigmatic, once brilliant, now demented Miner, Tomas Chalder to the moment they discover that the aliens who hold the keys to untold knowledge are semi-comatos, nothing, absolutely nothing, fits the way it should. And just to add to their problems, the planet may not be as peaceful as the other human Miners pretend it is.
The trip finally came to an end. We decelerated and descended in the late afternoon in a small ship-to-planet shuttle. As we slid into the atmosphere, we caught glimpses of tree covered mountains. The shadows of clouds fell across the slopes and played on the surfaces of twisted ravines. As the sun began to set, the little ship slipped between verdant mountainsides and into valleys of yellow clay and cracked earth.
We were cast out of the shuttle into the moment between twilight and full nightfall and then the day closed down on us the rest of the way, drowning us in darkness. I thought we were alone until a hunched figure detached itself from a puddle of shadow and stepped into the newborn moonlight.
"Best to hurry," the figure said without so much as a greeting or introduction. "About to storm bloody-murder. Storm here is not pretty."
The man barely waited as we gathered our bundles and bags. He was off at an irritatingly quick pace. We could barely keep our belongings in hand and keep him in sight. We were tipped by the luggage this way and that, reminding me of drunks on the deck of a boat, but the guide scuttled along lickety-split like a large beetle, ignoring our awkward struggle.
"Attention, stay alert," Mom grumbled as a bag slipped out of her hand and she grabbed for it.
Dewey Decimal: [Fic]
Library of Congress: bl2004115516
Book Publisher: Lion Stone Books
No. of Pages: 284
Paper Weight (lb): 70lb
Illustrations (B&W): 48
Coated Paper: Yes