A gripping first-contact adventure for fans of James Cameron’s Avatar from the #1 New York Times–bestselling author of the Star Wars: Thrawn series.
At twenty-two, hotshot Matthew Raimey has his whole life ahead of him, but a tragic accident quickly changes everything. He’s left feeling hopeless—until he receives a proposition to be part of a new project for SkyLight International: Project Changeling.
It’s not the easiest transition, but eventually Matt is spending his days unlike anyone back on Earth could imagine—swimming through the toxic yet beautiful atmosphere of Jupiter, in the body of a Qanska, an enormous alien resembling a cross between a manta ray and a dolphin. Even stranger, Matt is happy again.
But his second chance at survival doesn’t come without a cost. Behind this project is a mysterious oligarchy of rich and powerful individuals who run the solar system, and they didn’t place Matt on Jupiter out of mere kindness. They’re monitoring his every move, and preparing to collect what they came for . . .
“The direction Manta’s Gift ultimately takes is inventive and unexpected. . . . Zahn plays out his suspense as deftly as always, building a tense situation and ultimately defusing it in believable and pleasing ways.” —Locus
“Zahn is ingenious in his plotting and well versed in keeping things moving. Manta’s Gift leaves the reader feeling very satisfied.” —Analog Science Fiction and Fact
“The author of Angelmass brings a new twist to a classic tale of human-alien encounter, combining fast-paced action and hard science with personal drama. A good choice for most sf collections.” —Library Journal
“Another thoroughly literate sf yarn from Zahn.” —Booklist