cover image Into the Light

Into the Light

David Weber and Chris Kennedy. Tor, $28.99 (512p) ISBN 978-0-7653-3145-8

Weber and Kennedy (The Progenitors’ War series) offer an intelligent and unconventional variation on the familiar setup of humanity repelling an alien invasion in this well-crafted sequel to Weber’s Out of the Dark. Earth has been devastated by the assault of the Shongairi, whose kinetic weapons have wiped out many major cities and destroyed vital infrastructure. Now Lewis Freymark, who lost a son in an attack on his Minnesota community, struggles to keep the rest of his family alive without adequate shelter or the medical supplies needed to treat his daughter’s pneumonia. The authors effectively pull back from Lewis’s intimate tragedy to give a wider perspective, as enclaves around the U.S. try to reconstruct some form of effective government against regional opposition. Weber and Kennedy so effectively ground their science fiction in real-world political and logistical issues that the introduction of a plotline about humanity’s vampiric allies against the invaders goes down easy. Even readers unfamiliar with the prior book will be gripped by the combination of well-developed characters and unexpected plot twists. (Jan.)