As director of the Jerhattan Parapsychic Center, telepath Rhyssa Owen coordinated the job assignments for psychically gifted Talents. And though she had her hands full dealing with the unreasonable demand for kinetics to work on the space platform that would be humankind's stepping-stone to the stars, she was always ready to welcome new Talents to the Center.
Feisty and streetwise, twelve-year-old Tirla used her extraordinary knack for languages to eke out a living in the Linear developments, where the poor struggled to make ends meet and children were conscripted or sold into menial work programs. Young Peter, paralyzed in a freak accident, hoped someday to get into space where zero gravity would enable him to function more easily. Both desperately needed help only other Talents could provide.
With the appearance in her life of one extraordinary man with no measurable Talent at all, Rhyssa suddenly found herself questioning everything she thought she knew about her people. And when two Talented children were discovered to have some very unusual -- and unexpected -- abilities, she realized that she would have to reassess the potential of all Talentkind...From Publishers Weekly
McCaffrey continues to develop her future world in which psionic Talents, once feared and despised, are by now necessary to the comfort and conduct of society. Following the events in To Ride, Pegasus and set a generation or so before The Rowan , this era finds mankind not yet having settled planets outside the solar system. Even with officially mandated birth control, the world teems with too many people. Essential to the construction of a space station being built to serve as springboard to the stars are the services of the Talents--particularly the telekinetics, who can move objects by mental power. Telepath Rhyssa Owen, a top official of the Center for Parapsychic Talents, must contend with the station's construction manager, who treats Talents brutally and otherwise discourages them from working for her. Meanwhile two youngsters are found to be unusually Talented: Peter Reidinger overcomes paralysis to develop the first gestalt with electrical generators (this becomes the basis for future space travel), while Tirlap, an illegal child from the vertical slums, facilitates communication among a wide variety of cultures. Meanwhile, kidnappers prey on children for pederastic pursuits and for spare parts. McCaffrey's world of the Talented is as vivid as that of Pern and its dragons. Major ad/promo.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.
YA-- This book is set shortly after To Ride Pegasus (Ballantine, 1986) and centuries before The Rowan (Putnam, 1990). Rhyssa Owen, telepathic granddaughter of Daffyd op Owen, is now director of the Center for Parapsychic Talents, a nonprofit organization that works for the betterment of humanity by predicting disasters, controlling crime, locating missing persons or things , and manipulating material , from heavy equipment to the microscopic. The Center becomes involved with a ruthless head of construction who uses and abuses these talents in the dangerous task of building the first space platform. Tirla, 12, and adolescent Peter become involved in the growing crisis. McCaffrey continues her fascinating parapsychic chronicle in this fast-paced, easy read, and readers are sure to care about her multidimensional, believable characters.
-John Lawson, Fairfax County Public Library, VA
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.