cover image The False Mirror

The False Mirror

Alan Dean Foster. Del Rey Books, $19 (277pp) ISBN 978-0-345-35856-1

Foster improves on the scenario he created in A Call to Arms with this second tale of the nefarious Amplitur, who hope to dominate the galaxy through the use of telepathic persuasion, genetic manipulation and outright force. The races arrayed against them, the Weave, have gained the upper hand by recruiting humans, who are not only the best fighters but immune to Amplitur mind control techniques. The Amplitur, undeterred, turn to long-range plans: they breed a race of human-like warriors, the Ashregan, who can defeat even humans in battle. When Weave scientists capture and study an Ashregan named Ranji, their discoveries force Ranji to resolve just how human he himself may be, and the fate of all Ashregans comes to weigh upon him. By concentrating on Ranji instead of discussing the entire constellation of forces, Foster gives his story more depth. The exciting plot excuses the flatness of most of the other characters and some distracting loose ends. (Apr.)