2039: The Russians didn't use the big nukes. The ongoing Third World War has left parts of Europe in ruins. Into the chaos steps the Second Alliance, a multinational eager to impose its own kind of New World Order. In the United States - in FirStep, the vast space colony and on the artificial island Freezone - the SA shoulders its way to power, spinning a dark web of media manipulation, propaganda, and infiltration.
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The guerilla war against the Second Alliance and its plans for a European apartheid intensifies in this second volume of John Shirley's A Song Called Youth trilogy. From its beginning, thwarting the Second Alliance has been the first priority of the New Resistance; now the SA has decided it was time to return the favor, Resistance could not be allowed to interfere with the progress of the SA's master plan.
The power of the Second Alliance has coalesced and terrorism institutionalized. New concentration camps bring the horrors of "Ethnic Cleansing" to a terrifying intensity. The SA stands poised to conquer the ruins of Europe with brutality. Media manipulation has become mind control - and mind control, an art. Secret treaties have been made in back rooms, on the Internet, and in hidden laboratories. Your only hope is the New Resistance.