After endless pages of detail, the story finishes with an impossible, unimaginative, conclusion with visuals stolen from a popular TV series. The conclusion does not do justice to the groundwork laid down in the previous two books of the trilogy. Its as though, after laying the groundwork, the author ran out of ideas for a finish.
While he is one of my favorite authors, I must admit that certain things were quite confusing to me. Just some details of the story. Some inconsistancies too, but maybe in my own mind. Anyway, the story is basically good but it echoes from a previously unfinish trilogy (hint, hint) that involves, well, things moving. In any case, the series was enjoyable.
In the far distant future, mankind has learned, thanks to Oskar DeSilvo, how to terraform planets. Once that operation was complete, humanity would colonize that world but what few people know is that DeSilvo took credit for another person's concept. That individual had concluded that eventually terraforming would fail. The prediction proved true on the planet Blister just as it is now happening on Solace. Eventually all the terraformed worlds will collapse and the refugees will return to their home world, bringing with them spores and microbes that that will result in plagues and the death of humanity. The chronological patrol knows this and is trying to buy time by suppressing technologies. DeSilvo has found a way to prevent the eventual extinction of humanity but he must convince his most powerful enemy Anton Koffied that they must work together on his plan that will pit them against the chronological patrol and DeSilvo's many other enemies. Oskar DeSilvo is both the protagonist and the antagonist of THE SHORES OF TOMORROW. He lied and falsified information that could lead to the death of humanity but he acknowledges his guilt and is doing everything in his power to make restitution. There is much action in the several sub-plots that seamlessly flow into the main story line. Roger MacBride Allen has the talent to rival the brightest suns in the science fiction galaxy. Harriet Klausner
The Shores of Tomorrow is the third novel in the Chronicles of Solace series, following The Ocean of Years. In the previous novel, the Dom Pedro IV's crew have followed clues left by Oskar DeSilvo to Glister. There they fly the Cruzeiro do Sul down into a launch dome within a huge bullseye designed to attract their attention and find DeSilvo awaiting their arrival. In the complex on Glister, DeSilvo explains his actions and shows the simulations that he has developed to test the contraction theories of Ulan Baskaw. He is mortified that the information discovered by Admiral Koffield seems to be confirmed by these simulations and subsequent events. He has realized that he needs external verification of his thinking and thus has lured them there. At this point, Yuri Sparten attacks DeSilvo and both are injured. In this novel, Koffield and the crew of the Dom Pedro IV have verified DeSilvo's simulations using their own data. Now they are waiting for DeSilvo to explain his scheme for avoiding the contraction, but first he is waiting for his FTL data taps to relay the results of the Ignition of the NovaSpot over Greenhouse in the Lodestar system. Back in that system, Planetary Executive Neshobe Kalzant of Solace is also waiting for these results, watching the countdown to Ignition from the control room in the Lodestar VII. On Mars, Kalani Temblar of the Chronologic Patrol is surveying the damage done to the Dark Museum, following the footsteps of Oskar DeSilvo and Admiral Koffield. When she is through recording the evidence, she wires explosives to the armored door of the tunnel and sets the timer. Then she returns to her lander and, despite the damage done by the omnipresent mold, takes off for orbit. In Mariner City, the explosives detonate, causing sympathetic detonation of the booby-trap demolition charges, resulting in the collapse of the entire length of DeSilvo's tunnel into the Dark Museum. In this story, the rationale behind DeSilvo's later behavior becomes exceedingly and frighteningly clear. Koffield and his associates agree to help DeSilvo, but first Sparten has to sneak off to check out a diehard settlement about 700 kilometers to the south. During his flyby, the aircar comes under fire from the diehards. The importance of the NovaSpot to make Greenhouse a waystation for the evacuation of Solace becomes clear to Elber Malloon and he becomes a player in system politics, first as an agent of Captain Sotales of the SCO Station Security Force and later as a liaison between the lowdowners and the uppers. His actions facilitate the evacuation of the lowdowners to Greenhouse, which in turn relieves pressures on Solace planetary resources and also provides essential manpower for DeSilvo's new plan. Meanwhile, the Chronologic Patrol has learned the basics of DeSilvo's activities in the Solar System and has correctly interpreted the clues left for Koffield. Lieutenant Command Burl Chambers and Lieutenant Temblar are dispatched in a heavily armed and sensored CP intelligence ship to Glister to track down both DeSilvo and Koffield. This is the final volume of the series. It interjects additional technology from the Dark Museum that expands upon the various fields and drives previously mentioned. It proposes another method of terraforming without the imbalances of the previously failed methods and suggests yet another approach. Furthermore, it introduces another model of timetravel within a multiverse of complex diverging and converging timelines. Highly recommended for Allen fans and for anyone else who enjoys high tech suspense stories with political intrigue and interesting characters.