The Parafaith War

L. E. Modesitt, Jr., Author Tor Books $23.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-312-85904-6
The primacy of ideas over characterization-a hallmark of (John) Campbellian science fiction-distinguishes Modesitt's current novel from his popular Recluse series and the delightful Of Tangible Ghosts. Trystin Desoll is a young Eco-Tech officer who is fighting two enemies: the opposing Revenant forces, and the prejudice of his own people against his looks, which are more rev than Eco-Tech. Employing his impressive wits and skills, he creates innovative solutions to each, ultimately devising a ploy aimed at ending the war by using the Revenants' faith-based culture. All this is potentially interesting, but Modesitt leaves too much unsaid (e.g., the reason for the interstellar war). Trystin is too stolid a character as well, barely reacting as several family members, friends and lovers are lost or forgotten. Modesitt is capable of turning out provocative, entertaining SF-but this, despite some good ideas, isn't that. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 03/01/1999
Release date: 03/01/1999
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