Very grim, very gritty (or should I say ‘smelly’?), and not many nice characters about in this SF/Fantasy. But so worth reading for being different and thought-provoking. Made me think new thoughts about how religion could develop on our planet. I never read fiction before where Islam was imagined thousands of years from now – and in a different star system. Yes, people, this story is set in world where religious humans colonized worlds aeons from now and discovered the planet held some magic ability for some (bug whisperers and shape shifters). But most fascinating are the relationships between men and women, the laws for marriage and breeding, the rules for contact – all are controlled by the different religions: fairly recognizable as Rastafarian and various forms of Islam. And yet, although religion is a firm part of every day life, some people try to escape it anyway, while the world is at war. “Bel dame” (bounty hunter) Nyxnissa so Dasheem is one hell of a female anti-hero! Dearie me. What a ragged, kick-ass killer. What a clever book. Not the best choice for reading whilst dining out in a restaurant on your own. What with the bug technology and selling off organs. Still. I felt clever and nerdy having this on the iPad mini. And on the night in question, that was a good thing. I am so impressed.