The night the sky fell, Jack and Nora Abernathy’s daughter vanished in the woods. And Mia’s disappearance broke her parents’ already fragile marriage. Unable to solve her own daughter’s case, Nora lost herself in her work as a homicide detective. Jack became a shell of a man; his promising career as a biologist crumbling alongside the meteor strikes that altered weather patterns and caused a massive drought.
It isn’t until five years later that the rains finally return to nourish Seattle. In this period of sudden growth, Jack uncovers evidence of a new parasitic fungus, while Nora investigates several brutal, ritualistic murders. Soon they will be drawn together by a horrifying connection between their discoveries—partnering to fight a deadly contagion as well as the government forces that know the truth about the fate of their daughter.
Award-winning author Benjamin Percy delivers both a gripping science fiction thriller and a dazzling examination of a planet—and a marriage—that have broken.
About the Author
BENJAMIN PERCY has won a Whiting Award, a Plimpton Prize, two Pushcart Prizes, an NEA fellowship, and the iHeartRadio Award for Best Scripted Podcast. He is the author of the novels The Ninth Metal, The Unfamiliar Garden, The Dark Net, The Dead Lands, Red Moon, and The Wilding; three story collections; and an essay collection, Thrill Me. He also writes Wolverine and X-Force for Marvel Comics. He lives in Minnesota with his family.
PRAISE FOR THE NINTH METAL “Wildly entertaining and highly original melange of northern Minnesota lore and slam-bang near-future SF action . . . Percy’s dead-on local color, strong central characters, and well-integrated flashbacks into the making of a modern samurai will delight and entertain both comics fans and serious science fiction readers. This is an impressive series starter.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review “When Benjamin Percy publishes a novel, I have got to read that novel. The Ninth Metal continues his streak of thrilling, incisive genre bending goodness. It’s a sci-fi novel, a crime novel and a super-hero novel, too. Audacious and intelligent and exactly what I was dying to read.” —Victor LaValle, author of The Changeling “Whether you choose to think of him as the Elmore Leonard of rural Minnesota or the Stephen King of Science Fiction, Ben Percy—with his extraordinary and unrelenting eye—dishes up humanity like some kind of otherworldly blue plate special, at once deeply familiar and wildly new.” —Margaret Stohl, #1 New York Times best-selling author of the Caster Chronicles “Take one part dystopia, one part sci-fi, two parts apocalypse, then ride them roughshod through a bleak and bloody western, and it still wouldn't get close to what Ben Percy does here, which is blow open the core of humanity's dark heart.” —Marlon James, Booker Prize award–winning author of Black Leopard, Red Wolf "Percy is an accomplished superhero comic writer, and that aesthetic is evident from page one. The plot is dynamic, featuring multiple viewpoints as well as corporate malfeasance, spooky cults, and family drama...all of these moving parts work together due to strong characterization...contributing to an overall cinematic feel. While the novel comes to a satisfying conclusion, this is the first book in an anticipated trilogy." —Booklist "[Percy] is deft at catching attention with sharp lines of dialogue or bursts of action." —New York Times Book Review "Immersive and imaginative...a clever amalgamation of speculative fiction and family drama, of supercharged characters and regular folk, encompassing various viewpoints in a highly cinematic narrative." —Star Tribune "Inventive but grounded, this is a smart take on the modern resource rush." —Elle "How is [THE NINTH METAL] as a standalone novel? And how does it do at evoking the sense of something larger? The answers, in short, are “very good” and “very well”... an unexpected delight." —Tor "The engine of the novel, first of a trilogy, has a lot of moving parts but Percy keeps them all meshing nicely together with sinewy prose and strong characterization." —Financial Times
“Terrifying, entertaining, and thought-provoking. . . There’s a spattering of gore, a connection to a psychopathic serial killer, and a secret government agenda to introduce alien matter into human genes—in other words, a little something for everyone, science fiction fans and mystery fans alike." — Kirkus Reviews
“Masterful . . . Combines a missing-person case, romantic reconciliation, and a riveting sci-fi what-if . . . A thoroughly satisfying near-future glimpse of both disaster and salvation.” — Publishers Weekly(starred review)
“Don’t miss. . . Percy's novel defies categorization — part sci-fi, part mystery, wholly absorbing.” --Star Tribune — Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
*Named a Most Anticipated SFF Fiction Book by New Scientist, Gizmodo, Vol 1 Brooklyn, the A.V. Club, and Tor.com* — *Named a Most Anticipated SFF Fiction Book by New Scientist, Gizmodo, Vol 1 Brooklyn, the A.V. Club, and Tor.com*
"Award-winning author Benjamin Percy delivers both a gripping science fiction thriller and a dazzling examination of a planet—and a marriage—that have broken." — The Nerd Daily