From Publishers Weekly
Can a proud and warlike people find common cause with their alien conquerors in the face of a greater danger? That's the question that military SF ace Flint (1633) and two-time Nebula Award finalist Wentworth (This Fair Land) ask in this thought-provoking far-future novel. After defeating the human species, some of the sea lion-like Jao consider finishing off the job through mass asteroid strikes. But the young Aille, newly arrived commander of Jao Ground Forces, seeks to win over the humans not only by showing them the threat posed to all intelligent life by the Ekhat, the elder race that raised the Jao to sentience, but also by trying to forge bonds between the vanquishers and the vanquished. The authors excel at describing how human and Jao customs clash, allowing the reader to discover along with the characters the core beliefs of each society and how these beliefs could be adjusted and harmonized with one another. The Ekhat presents a truly alien threat of the sort that could well merge two belligerent societies into one, not just out of fear but through ties of blood and honor. Building to an exhilarating conclusion, this book cries out for a sequel.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Flint and Wentworth drastically modify a venerable sf setup--alien occupiers of a conquered Earth can't understand what makes humans tick--much to the benefit of the book and the greater delight of readers. For one thing, on this Earth, insight and idiocy are equally distributed between the conquerors and conquered, with the invading Jao frequently realizing how much they have to learn and then setting out to learn it. Meanwhile, the humans are playing the same game, with those humans who are hostages to the Jao, or part of the Jao's sepoy army, preparing for war against a still more evil alien race, probably doing more good than the fragmented Resistance accomplishes. If the elaborate detail with which both sides are depicted sometimes slows the pacing, it redounds to Flint and Wentworth's world-building skills. And when Jao clans fall at odds on Earth, on a scale that threatens wholesale devastation, the pacing brisks up enough for anyone's taste. A possible series opener that stands well alone. Roland GreenCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved