cover image Dark Sky Legion

Dark Sky Legion

William Barton. Spectra Books, $4.99 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-553-29616-7

In the distant future the seeds of humanity are scattered so far and wide throughout the galactic frontier that Earth's Metastatic government can only maintain control via a network of starships. Maaron Denthurion is a Televox, a powerful representative who is preserved aboard the Naglfar as digitized computer data and chemically reincarnated when he arrives at the planet Olam. Though at first glance the citizens of this brave new world seem to enjoy the healthy benefits of a utopian society, Denthurion learns that the enslavement of an intelligent species--called the Hodai--and oppression of a neo-Christian cult known as the Shearah are also prevalent. When Denthurion is kidnapped by the Shearah, the government panics: a Televox, if he is displeased, has the authority to nuke an entire planet. After seducing a young revolutionary, Denthurion escapes his captors and must ultimately decide what judgment to pass on Olam. Though Barton (coauthor of Iris ) repeatedly evokes the Norse gods--Denthurion dreams of living in Asgard and the ship's computer is named Odin--this novel reads like a theatrical, if somewhat heavy, space opera. (Aug.)