Night Watch

Sean Stewart, Author Ace Books $21.95 (384p) ISBN 978-0-441-00445-4
In the near-future envisioned in this beautifully written novel (as well as in Stewart's Resurrection Man, 1995), magic supersedes technology, making North America a savagely interesting place. Emily Thompson, heir to Chicago's Southside, discovers her iron-willed grandfather Winter's dirty secret: over the past 70 years, 12 children have been sacrificed to the mystical forces of the North Side to ensure the community's safety. Appalled, Emily desperately tries to remove herself from her grandfather's reach and thus escape complicity in his schemes. Her plans involve distant Chinatown, where Southside's soldiers are deployed. Her actions cause a deadly chain of events that threaten the artist Rian, her daughter, Lark, and their friend Wire, as well as Emily's former governess and Chinatown's Honorable Minister for Borders. Decency fights protocol as humanity struggles against gods and among itself for domination over the civilized world. Stewart has a tremendous talent for illuminating the interior lives of his characters, although his plotting lags as a result. His depiction of the glory and caprice of the gods both balances his main characters' foibles and highlights their basic nobility. Though the future Stewart paints is cold, this is a surprisingly warm book, glowing with life and imagination. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/29/1997
Release date: 10/01/1997
Genre: Fiction
Prebound-Other - 978-0-606-15654-7
Mass Market Paperbound - 338 pages - 978-0-441-00554-3
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