Time is running out for the people of New Pallas. Nobody knows that better than Alvera Renata, a tenacious captain determined to scout past the stars with nothing but a handpicked crew and a promise: to find a new home for humanity.
But when a perilous journey across dark space leads to first contact with a galactic civilisation on the brink of war, Alvera soon realises keeping her word might not be as easy as she thought.
Her only hope lies with the secrets of the ancient alien waystations scattered across the galaxy. The mysterious technology could be the key to humanity’s survival-or bring unwanted attention from the long-forgotten beings who built them.
But remaining united in the face of annihilation is a lot to ask from a crew already splintering under the weight of their differences. A jaded pilot looks for a place he can start over. A young translator searches for meaning out in the galaxy’s lawless frontier. And Alvera reckons with the aftermath of betrayal as she fights for a way to save them all.
As they break apart to forge their own paths, Alvera and her crew all face the same question: what are they willing to sacrifice to save those left behind?