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Sky Coyote (A Novel of the Company, Book 2)
by Kage Baker
ISBN 0380731800 / 9780380731800 / 0-380-73180-0
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Kage Baker's first novel, In the Garden of Iden, was a smart, funny, top-drawer read. Fans will be happy to find out that Baker avoids a sophomore slump with Sky Coyote, the second novel of the Company, and another superbly witty and intelligent book. Baker switches focus in this sequel to Joseph, the immortal cyborg who rescued Iden's heroine, Mendoza, from the dungeons of the Spanish Inquisition. Joseph and Mendoza work for Dr. Zeus, otherwise known as the Company, a 24th-century operation devoted to getting rich off the past. To accomplish this, the Company turns orphans and refugees from the past into super-smart, nigh invincible cyborgs and sends them on missions to save or hide precious paintings, cultural treasures, and genetic information useful to the future world.
Sky Coyote begins in pre-Columbian Mexico, where Joseph and Mendoza are reunited at New World One, an extravagant Company retreat. When European explorers are scheduled to arrive in the New World, the Company dismantles operations, and Joseph is sent to California in 1699 to save a Chumash village lock, stock, and barrel, before Europeans arrive with smallpox and slavery. To prep the Native Americans for their voyage to a Company enclave in Australia, Joseph poses as Uncle Sky Coyote, a trickster-god of the Chumash, and tells them he's there to save them from certain doom at the hands of white men. But can Joseph convince the wary, savvy Chumash labor unions, lodges, and entrepreneurs that he has their best interests at heart, all without screwing up history? And will he patch things up with Mendoza, who still hasn't forgiven him for everything that happened in 1500s England? Kage Baker delivers a terrific story and a worthy sequel with Sky Coyote. --Therese Littleton [via]