Putnam, 2020. 1st edition. Hardback.
From the award-winning author of Lexicon comes a mind-bending science fiction masterpiece in the tradition of The Martian and Arrival.
She is the ultimate weapon. She once served us. Now she's got her own plans.
Once we approached the aliens in peace...and they annihilated us. Now mankind has developed the ultimate killing machine, the Providence class of spaceship.
With the ships' frightening speed, frightening intelligence and frightening weaponry, it's now the salamanders' turn to be annihilated...in their millions.
The mismatched quartet of Talia, Gilly, Jolene and Anders are the crew on one of these destroyers. But with the ship's computers designed to outperform human decision-making in practically all areas, they are virtual bystanders. The Providence will take them to where the enemy are and she will dictate the strategy in any battle.
The crew's only job role is to publicise their glorious war to a sceptical Earth. Social media and video clips are their weapons in an endless charm offensive. Their chief enemy is not the space reptiles but each other and boredom.
But then everything changes. A message comes from base: the Providence is going into the Violet Zone, where there are no beacons and no communications with Earth. It is the heart of the enemy empire - and now the crew are left to wonder whether this is a mission of ultimate destruction or, more sinisterly, of ultimate self-destruction....*