cover image The Making War

The Making War

Brenda Cooper. WordFire, $19.99 trade paper (476p) ISBN 978-1-68057-110-3

The competent conclusion to Cooper’s Fremont’s Children series (after Wings of Creation) wraps up the stories of genetically engineered siblings, Joseph and Chelo Lee, and their allies in a multi-planet conflict. As Made beings, the Lees are considered the property of their Makers, who control their genetic codes, but they’ve managed to escape, traveling with a scrappy band of comrades aboard the spaceship Bryan’s Hope. Though pacifist Chelo narrates, she is nearly invisible as a character, relegated to the role of observer of actions taken by Joseph and Caro, a preternaturally talented child traveling with the Lee siblings. Their goal is to engage the warring factions and use the fight to secure a better future for Made beings. Meanwhile, Joseph’s fierce but self-centered former lover, Alicia, remains on the planet Lopali pursuing her dream of being reengineered into a flier even at a great physical and psychic cost. Cooper foregrounds ideas over emotion, sparing little time for relationship development while tying up the story’s loose ends. Still, her fans will be pleased to check back in with this complex space opera world. Readers will be satisfied, if not wowed. (Oct.)