Violent Stars

Phyllis Gotlieb, Author
Phyllis Gotlieb, Author Tor Books $23.95 (240p) ISBN 978-0-312-86953-3
Reviewed on: 03/01/1999
Release date: 03/01/1999
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Spiraling from an alien abduction in Toronto to intergalactic intrigue wicked enough to curdle the Milky Way, this colorful but trite sequel to Flesh and Gold (1998) brings many of Gotlieb's flamboyant extraterrestrials back for a sprawling encore. To avoid becoming unwilling egg-incubators for the unspeakable Ix, the amebic Lyrrht indentured their genetic engineering talent to the dastardly Zamos Corporation, creating luscious mermaid clones that Zamos enslaved into its Federation-wide prostitution operation. Although brought to a lengthy trial by Judge Skerow, a distinguished giant allosaurian Khagodi poetess, Zamos employs the Ix to terrorize and annihilate its opponents, like Solthree's Ambassador Bullivant, whose adopted daughter, Verona, is kidnapped by the Ix, igniting the novel's action. Once ex-pug Ned Gattes rescues Verona from the Ix, this rudimentary plot loses focus and devolves into one brush with the baddies after another. Gotlieb's various aliens are cleverly and sympathetically conceived, but the novel's conflicting moral issues seem to flounder through simplistic cut-and-run chase scenes and profuse adolescent-style angst. Less persuasive than Flesh and Gold, this is a space operetta where the leading fat allosaur never gets around to singing. (May)
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