cover image Into the Out of

Into the Out of

Alan Dean Foster. Warner Books, $0 (293pp) ISBN 978-0-446-51337-1

In many ways this fantasy adventure seems a follow-up to Foster's novelization of the film Alien. The monsters at loose on an unsuspecting world are grotesque gargoyles, all teeth, claws and malevolence. Standing against them is a small band with varied backgrounds: an FBI agent, a Seattle saleswoman, a wizened Maasai elder and a seven-foot Maasai warrior. The elder has recruited the two Americans to help him contain the evil shetani by closing the entrance to the ""Out Of,'' the Maasai designation for the source of all things, both earthly and demonic. During the long, slow buildup to the final confrontation (itself a letdown), readers are likely to wonder how the protagonists survive any of their encounters with these walking nightmares. Aside from the sudden, memorable bursts of violence and an interesting African travelogue, this is one of Foster's weaker books. (October 15)