The Golden Queen

Dave Wolverton, Author Tor Books $22.95 (318p) ISBN 978-0-312-85656-4
Though billed as science fiction, the latest novel by the author of this summer's Star Wars yarn ( The Courtship of Princess Leia ) reads more like fantasy. Gallen O'Day lives on a backward planet where he works as a bodyguard along with his friend, the genetically enhanced talking bear, Orick. They and Maggie Flynn, Gallen's girlfriend, are whisked into the middle of an intergalactic intrigue by two strangers, the Lady Everynne and her protector, Veriasse. Everynne is a clone designed as the perfect human, beautiful beyond compare and so good that she wishes only to serve the best interests of our species. At this time, humanity has been conquered by the Dronon, an insect-like race controlled by a hive mentality and ruled by a Golden Queen. The Dronon want to genetically reengineer humanity along insect-like lines, a fate that Everynne and her escorts try to deter by challenging the Golden Queen's protector in battle. The story features many charming moments; especially appealing is the talking bear, who retains his ursine nature while still yearning to become a Christian priest. On the other hand, there's little depth or moral force to the losses the characters suffer. Wolverton is obviously trying to gain SF legitimacy (his discussions of genetic research go on for pages), but he relies on fantasy fundamentals time and again, including a standard quest format, stereotypical characterizations and a predictably happy ending. Yet the legions of Star Wars fans will probably devour this mix of familiar themes, archetypal characters and moderately interesting alien technologies. Major ad/promo. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 08/01/1994
Release date: 08/01/1994
Genre: Fiction
Mass Market Paperbound - 341 pages - 978-0-8125-5255-3
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