Divergence: #2

Charles Sheffield, Author Del Rey Books $16.95 (281p) ISBN 978-0-345-36039-7
This second book of the Heritage Universe series drops into the low end of space opera. Darya Lang is the galaxy's authority on Builder artifacts, devices made between three and 10 million years ago by a vanished race. Her research has led Darya, and she has led others (both companions and competitors) to the site of a previously unknown artifact, where the group meets The One Who Waits, a robot who offers to send them to the Builders. Ensuing events hinge on a one-in-350,000-chance coincidence, and the creation and destruction of an entire galactic empire is tossed off with the wave of a pseudopod. Individuals and governments both seem naive for a competitive society 4300 years in the future. Motivation and characterization--both reasonably strong in the first book, Summertide --are sacrificed here in favor of banal plot devices. During the novel's climactic battle, Sheffield misplaces one of his humans, leaving him to certain death, then absentmindedly brings him back into the action. The narrative portion of the book is less interesting and less well-written than between-chapter essays on the various sapient species of the galaxy. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1991
Release date: 01/01/1991
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7861-1981-3
MP3 CD - 978-0-7861-9618-0
Compact Disc - 978-0-7861-9743-9
Compact Disc - 978-1-4708-9008-7
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