Genre: hard science fiction
Length: 384 pages
Setting: Valedon, I think before the other books in the Elysium Cycle.
Interest: It’s part of the Elysium Cycle that started with The Children Star
Summary: Chrysoberyl is a starving artist that decides to take part in an experiment in order to raise rent money. Turns out, the doctors add a sentient race of microbes to her body that live between her brain and skull and can talk via colors. They help her become a better artist, but also push her to help other microbes, including ones causing the brain plague (a subset of the microbes that take over their hosts instead of living symbiotically with them).
Final thoughts: An awesome book that I had a hard time putting down. It was set way before her other books in the series, but I could see elements building toward that future world. The lives of the microbes, how they interacted with the human hosts, and how different each population become were fascinating. I enjoyed it so much I started dreaming about the book.
Title comes from: The brain plague was a problem in the lower parts of society that became a bigger problem over time.
Reading challenges fulfilled: none since this is a review of a book from a previous year
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