Earth is dying, and we have begun the search for a new home. Our hopes are pinned on Ubastis, an untamed paradise at the edge of colonized space. But such an influx of people threatens the planet's unstudied ecosystem--before these settlers arrive, a tenuous research colony must complete its essential and desperate analysis, lest humanity abandon one planet only to die on another.
The Ubasti colonists barely get by on their own. To acquire the tools and supplies they truly need, the colonists are relegated to selling whatever they can to outside investors. For xenobiologist Vashti Loren, this means bringing Offworlders on safari to hunt the specimens she and her fellow biologists so desperately need to study.
Haunted by the violent death of her husband, the heroic and celebrated Lasse Undset, Vashti must balance the needs of Ubastis against the swelling crush of would-be settlers. As she negotiates her grief, Vashti struggles in her role as one of the few colonists licensed to carry deadly weapons, just as she struggles with her history of using them. And when she discovers a genetically engineered soldier smuggled onto the surface, Vashti must face the nightmare of her husband's murder all over again. Vashti must protect herself, her daughter, and all of Ubastis as she is forced to draw alliances with old enemies, re-evaluate old friends, and take planet-wide action against those who threaten her world. Vashti stands at the threshold of humanity's greatest hope, and she alone understands the darkness of guarding paradise.
* Winner of a Special Citation by the Philip K. Dick Award 
"Reed is a skilled storyteller and the world of Ubastis is a vivid creation, with a Muslim culture that is simply part of the overall setting rather than a driver of the plot. Vashti is a troubled, fascinating protagonist whose story ends on a cliffhanger, with greater battles for the fate of Ubastis and her own family yet to come."
"A solid debut."
"Reed writes like a techno-Valkyrie with a flaming sword for a pen. Her prose will cut you, the action will make you sweat, and the characters will break your heart then patch it up again. This is science fiction adventure that attacks you like a Beast."
—Charles Coleman Finlay, editor of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction
"Marguerite Reed is a brave and audacious writer, with a strong and original voice."
—Gardner Dozois, editor of YearŐs Best Science Fiction
"Author Marguerite Reed's first full-length novel, Archangel, presents readers with a fully formed, well-considered universe populated by believable characters and with a strong yet flawed female hero science fiction fans will love rooting for."
"Marguerite Reed makes us ache and cheer for the lush xenobiology of Ubastis . . . The intimate portrayal of characters coupled with dazzling scientific and social speculation make for a great read."
—Andrea Hairston, winner of the James Tiptree Jr. Award and the Carl Brandon Parallax Award