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Absolution Gap/Reynolds, Alas/Paper/0575075570/S019-E
Humanity has endured centuries of horrific plague and a particularly brutal interstellar war: it's time for a few decades of peace and quiet.
No such luck: for now there is a new threat. Stirred from aeons of sleep, the Inhibitors - ancient alien killing machines - have begun the process of ridding the galaxy of its latest emergent intelligence.
Fleeing the first wave of machines, a ragtag group of refugees headed by the war veteran Clavain waits anxiously for the next phase of the cull. But with Clavain sunk deep in despondency, the actual leadership falls to Scorpio, the product of a flawed experiment in genetic engineering. Though Scorpio has every reason to hate humanity, he believes he has put his grudges - along with his criminal past - behind him.
Then an unexpected new element enters the colony: an avenging angel, a girl born in ice, gifted with both the power to lead humanity to safety and the ability to draw down mankind's darkest enemy.
On Hela, where vast travelling cathedrals circle the world in endless procession, the witnessing of a miraculous event has given birth to an apocalyptic new religion.
And as the cathedrals crawl towards the treacherous fissure known as Absolution Gap, a dark and unsettling truth becomes apparent: to beat one enemy, it may be necessary to forge an alliance with something much, much worse…