As the tyrannical Dram—an advanced alien race—make military advances in this sequel to Stebbins's Reader, Lt. Nitin Ratava reaffirms his love for New Earth savior Ambra Dawn (a "reader" with powerful visions of the past and future) by joining the Temple Guards. The sarcastic voice of Weapons Sgt. Grant Moore provides a contrast to the often ethereal relationship of Ratava and Dawn and the cool wisdom of her loyal alien protector, Waythrel. With the appearance of malevolent Dawn clones pointing to a powerful new enemy, Stebbins uses the Xix—a benevolent alien race—to present a contrast between the cultures of love and wisdom and of conquest and hatred. While Stebbins's novel is full of the same adventure and excitement as Reader, it suffers from a disjunction between the action of the story and the rarified relationship between Ratava and Dawn. Additionally, the narrative bogs down at times due to overly long inner monologue from Ratava. Still, fans of the series will likely keep turning pages in anticipation of the next installment.
Reviewed on: 06/30/2014 Release date: 04/01/2014 Genre: Fiction