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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 Green
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good airplane book. Not gonna win awards, but enjoyable.Published 13 months ago by Matthew Carl Schwarz
This well thought out plot unfolds with skillful craft. The story is fast moving and many faceted. A fast paced enjoyable distraction. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Anthony Cattani
For anyone who likes hard anthropological science fiction (fans of cj cherryh for sure) this is a must read. Read morePublished on Oct. 16 2013 by Matthew
In my long-term view, this is the best "cross cultural" SF war (or culture clash), I believe since the "moties" were created. Read morePublished on March 11 2004 by Amazon Customer
This book is quite an experience. I reread the book several times, it is that well written and that good. It is the best book I have read in years. Read morePublished on Jan. 22 2004 by Pentworth
This has got to be one of the best human/alien interaction books I have ever read. It's not so much that this story is about alien conflict, the story takes place twenty years... Read morePublished on Oct. 17 2003 by Mark E. Cooper
Take two authors known to be among the most capable at creating believable and completely inhuman and nonhuman aliens, and ask them to write together. What do you get? Read morePublished on Aug. 22 2003 by Walt Boyes