Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Spectra Books (28 Jun 2005)
It's not obvious from the cover (I avoid reading blurbs too closely as they frequently contain spoilers, or on occasion bear little resemblance to the content) that this is, in fact, the second volume of what appears to be a trilogy (Worldwired being mentioned in the back as the riveting conclusion of the series).
Actually, the story here isn't totally confusing without having read its predecessor, but it does become fairly obvious within a chapter or two that the reader is supposed to know more than I did about the situation. There are ancient alien ships on Mars, strange technology, an AI, and an Earth that is teetering on the edge of total ecological disaster, as the Chinese and the Canadians battle for supremacy a mere 45 years hence. (What happened to the US? Let's just say the neo-Cons won.) It's an interesting world, and one I'd like to know more about, and I'd also like to know more about how the characters got to where they are.
Note to self: next time, read Hammered first!