cover image Winter in Eden

Winter in Eden

Harry Harrison. Spectra Books, $18.95 (398pp) ISBN 978-0-553-05163-6

The Tanu are savage hunters, the Yilane are reptile people whose scientific side is usually tilted toward evil, and this second book in the West of Eden trilogy opens with Kerrick, the Tanu leader, brooding over the corpses of Yilane killed in the reptilians' overrun city. Vainte, a sinister female warrior, is retreating by sea with a rebellious group, the Daughters of Life, who soon escape and set out on their own utopian journey. There are skirmishes, separations and long treks by land and water as the two groups encounter each other on this prehistoric Earth. Harrison has invented his own languages, biology and philosophy; yet for all that, his book is standard going. The dialogue is a pared-down, grunting version of confrontation, with lots of heroic figures in turn ordering one another around and refusing orders; much of this is foolish. Illustrations not seen by PW. (November)