In Alien Hands

William Shatner, Author
William Shatner, Author Eos $23 (304p) ISBN 978-0-06-105275-0
Reviewed on: 12/01/1997
Release date: 12/01/1997
A sequel to Delta Search, this second novel in Shatner's Quest for Tomorrow series continues the story of Jim Endicott, who carries in his DNA the secret of a supercomputer made of linked human minds. Endicott is pursued by secret agents of sundry races, including representatives of the two alien empires--the wolflike Albans and the reptilian Hunzzas--that surround humanity in the 23rd century. As the novel progresses, Endicott sees combat as a mercenary soldier and as an implausibly gifted space pilot, saves the Alban government from a nuclear booby trap and befriends--and is befriended--by the powerful of several races, taking on the Hunzza, who aim to destroy Earth, in the process. Shatner's pacing never flags; his aliens (particularly the comic Tick) are more than respectable; and he adeptly handles the concept of the human race as a third-class power. Endicott develops so many powers, however, at a rate dictated by plot rather than by logic, that the novel finally loses much of its plausibility. This is old-fashioned space opera, but Shatner's superhuman protagonist may not keep today's readers turning pages with the same zeal as he might have two generations ago. (Dec.)
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