Ace, July 2004, 23.95, 368 pp.
The Escheton, an artificial intelligence, caused the human disappearance on Earth, sending the nine billion people to different planets by opening macroscopic wormholes in space-time. People were warned not to violate causality (time travel) or they would suffer the consequences by the Escheton or its agents. Five years ago, weapons of mass destruction destroyed the planetary system of Moscow though nobody knows who caused it.
Moscow had in orbit four ships that were sent to destroy the 800 million inhabitants of New Dresden who they believed caused the destruction of their planet. There are people who know the codes to abort the attack but an enemy who seems invisible and invinciple is killing them one by one. Rachel Mansour, a black ops agent is sent to New Dresden where two of the people with the codes are staying and hopes to bait a trap to catch the assassin and find out who is behind this tragedy. On New Dresden is Wednesday, a Goth teenage, who works with the Escheton to learn who the enemy is and destroy it. The teen has knowledge that she is not aware of that could solve everyone's dilemma if only if she can figure out what it is.
IRON SUNRISE is innovative science fiction with many subplots leading seamlessly back to the main storyline. The characters are well developed and feel realistic especially Wednesday, whose parents were killed by the same group which was involved in destroying her home world Moscow. Although she is emotionally a mess, she has the brains to be an agent of Escheton even though for much of the book she does not know what its' plans for her are. Charles Stross is a great storyteller and an author who is superstar bound in the science fiction galaxy.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner