Kevin J. Anderson has over 20 million books in print in 30 languages worldwide. He is the author of, among others, the X-FILES novels, GROUND ZERO and the JEDI ACADEMY trilogy of STAR WARS novels - the three bestselling SF novels of 1994. He has also co-written the international bestselling prequels to Frank Herbert's monumental DUNE series. He has won, or been nominated for, many awards including the Nebula Award and the Bram Stoker Award. Visit his website www.wordfire.com
The "Saga of Seven Suns" continues with number six of the prolific Anderson's planned seven-part series. Unfortunately, like many of its predecessors (e.g., Scattered Suns), this is on autopilot. If the humans could just get it together enough to ally in a uniform effort against the ancient-and terribly pitiless-Klikiss robots (who have caused a rebellion of human-friendly compy robots) and the sentient fire beings called faeros, they'd stand a chance. But old humanoid rifts deepen as King Peter (finally!) breaks away from Hansa chair Basil Wenceslas to form a confederation of rebels, and the wonderfully weird Ildiran race remains obliviously self-absorbed. David Colacci's narration, while workmanlike, is tepid; combined with Anderson's predictable plot, the whole exercise proves lifeless, a continuation instead of a progression. The wildly huge cast and a gazillion story arcs will only confuse listeners new to the series; recommended only for fans and for libraries where the earlier installments did well. Perhaps Anderson's planned culmination of the series, The Ashes of Worlds (due in July 2008), will be better.-Douglas C. Lord, Connecticut State Lib., Hartford Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
Bestseller Anderson's super-size mosaic of intergalactic, Darwinian conflict has been compared to some of the genre's grandest epics with good reason, but the breakneck sixth book (after 2006's Of Fire and Night) of this shelf-bending space opera fails to satisfy on its own merits. The quickly deteriorating Terran Hanseatic League (Hansa), the formidable Ildiran Empire and the newly created Confederation of Hansa's ex-colonies and rivals are in a fight for their very existence, battling not only each other but rogue robots, sentient fire entities and an ancient insectoid race, thought long extinct, which plans to eradicate all life on the planets it claims to own. Although Anderson brings all of his considerable skill to bear, much of the action-packed conflict remains relatively predictable, perhaps due to the unwieldy cast of characters, tapestry of intertwining subplots and eon-spanning backstory. A sparse conclusion leaves readers hanging in anticipation of book seven. (Dec.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.