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If Tomorrow Comes: Yesterday's Kin #2    by Nancy Kress order for
If Tomorrow Comes
by Nancy Kress
Order:  USA  Can
Tor, 2018 (2018)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

If Tomorrow Comes follows Tomorrow's Kin as the second in Nancy Kress's Yesterday's Kin trilogy, starring genetics researcher Dr. Marianne Jenner.

In the first book, aliens landed in New York harbor, warning the United Nations of impending disaster, a spore cloud carrying death. The Denebs were originally seeded from Earth onto a more benign planet, resulting in a very cooperative social evolution. As well as warning of the looming threat, the Denebs sought humans who were close to them genetically. Marianne's son Noah was one of them, and he and others left with the aliens heading home to Kindred.

Ten years after the Denebs left, humans launch a ship, Friendship, also heading to Kindred. Marianne is on board, along with scientists, diplomats, and a squad of Rangers. En route they discover that travel was not instantaneous, but rather that those they left on Earth will have aged almost thirty years while they were gone. And when they reach Kindred, nothing is as they expected, though Marianne does reunite with Noah and his new family.

The Denebs are not technologically advanced and they don't have a cure for the spore cloud virus. In addition, a hostile Russian ship has followed Friendship to Kindred, blaming the aliens for what happened on Earth after they left. A small group of humans (including Marianne) ends up on the planet, attempting to work with the Denebs - though the leader of the Ranger unit has other priorities, and there is dissension among the aliens as well.

It's an exciting read, a race against time to find a cure, with conflicting personalities and objectives. There's loyalty and betrayal, a coming of age, a deepening of first contact, inter-species racism, and even some romance. I'm looking forward to the conclusion of this exciting trilogy.

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