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A Poor Finale for a Good Series
on February 28, 2001
After starting with a *Bang!* in 'To Your Scattered Bodies Go,' the series went steadily downhill. According to the Foreword in 'The Dark Design,' the Riverworld saga was originally intended to be a Trilogy. It would have been better to have stuck with that plan. Book Four was okay, though I groaned when I read the last line; it fairly screamed "unnecessary, just-for-the-money sequel coming!"
'Gods of Riverworld' basically lives up to that expectation. It adds nothing to the series. Some of the lead characters react and behave differently in this book than in the previous four; some of the situations are likewise unbelievable and inconsistent, as other reviewers have noted. Several interesting characters, whom we've come to care about during the series, play no part in this book, while other completely uninteresting and superficial characters are brought in for "walk-on" roles.
Perhaps the author thought this was a brilliant plot twist, but the end result is a tiresome book that serves as an unfortunate end to one of the most promising concepts in Sci-Fi literature.