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Crystal rain
Tobias S. Buckell
Adult Fiction BUCKELL

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From Publishers' Weekly:

John deBrun, an amnesia victim with a hook instead of a left hand, must save his adopted society on the planet Nanaganda by recovering a lost technological artifact, the Ma Wi Jung, in Buckell's at times overly violent but enjoyable SF debut. John, living happily with his wife and son, has suppressed the memories of everything before his rescue from a watery grave 27 years earlier. When one group of native humans along with alien beings invade John's town, he winds up captured by the planet's other human society, the Azteca, whose culture is based on ritual sacrifice. Ruled by bloodthirsty, genetically engineered aliens called the Teotl, the Azteca have tunneled through the mountain range that separates the two human societies. Only the heroic efforts of John and acquaintances from his murky past can stop the ruthless Azteca. For a first-timer, Buckell handles his interlocking narratives well and his characters retain their humanity (even the slightly alien ones). Unusual for the genre, the many victims of torture and death are evenly divided between males and females. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Since their legendary arrival on Nanagada through a wormhole in the sky, the people have forged a peaceful existence for themselves, although they have forgotten the ancient knowledge of their elders. John deBrun, a castaway who washed up onto Nanagada's shore nearly three decades ago, has no memory of his past with the exception of some odd pieces of information-including the key to operating a powerful artifact hidden in the planet's frozen north. When Azteca warriors cross the High Wicked Mountains to raid for captives to sacrifice to their gods, deBrun offers the only hope for saving his adopted people. Caribbean-born Buckell's debut captures the flavor of Afro-Caribbean culture in the lilting dialog of his characters and in their customs. An original tale with distinctive characters and a fresh approach to worldbuilding, this sf quest belongs in most libraries. Buckell was a first-place winner of the 1999 Writers of the Future contest and was nominated in 2002 for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters John deBraun
Has a hook for a left hand; searching for his identity and lost memories of his past.

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