cover image The Prison in Antares

The Prison in Antares

Mike Resnick. Pyr, $18 trade paper (300p) ISBN 978-1-63388-102-0

Resnick’s second Dead Enders book (after The Fortress in Orion), linked to his larger Birthright universe, is an entertaining adventure, though it relies all too often on clichés. Recovering from the events of his previous adventure, Nathan Pretorius is once again called upon by the Democracy to gather his team of unlikely heroes (master thief Snake, shape-projector Proto, strongman Felix, empath Circe, and tech guru Pandora), along with a new recruit (quickly nicknamed Irish), to rescue a scientist whose kidnapping could lead to a disastrous loss in an interstellar war. Resnick wisely makes the stakes higher than before, which grounds the story more firmly in the well-worn space opera setting. Still, most of what’s here has been done before, often in Resnick’s own books, and few of the evens feel like they have any real effect on, or new insight into, the larger setting. This is a solid comfort read, but those who skip it won’t miss it. Agent: Eleanor Wood, Spectrum Literary. (Dec.)