cover image The Dark Between the Stars: The Saga of Shadows, Book 1

The Dark Between the Stars: The Saga of Shadows, Book 1

Kevin J. Anderson. Tor, $26.99 (672p) ISBN 978-0-7653-3299-8

At the start of this follow-up to Anderson’s epic Saga of the Seven Suns series, the Elemental War has just ended, the Confederation has replaced the corrupt Terran Hanseatic League, and an era of amity between human and the alien Ildirans seems assured. These dreams are foredoomed; not only are the malevolent Klikiss robots even now rebuilding their forces for another attack on the living beings they despise, but an ill-fated Ildiran and human joint expeditionary mission forces the robots to ally themselves with a mysterious evil force: the Shana Rei, personification of the void itself. Unfortunately, this novel replicates the original series’ flaws. The multitudinous characters offer more variety than depth, the world-building strains for verisimilitude, and the complex plot comes to feel meandering and grandiose. Anderson’s fans will be satisfied, but other readers looking for their space opera fix may want to go elsewhere. Agent: John Silbersack, Trident Media Group. (June)