From Publishers Weekly
Anderson has written bestselling Star Wars and Star Trek books and coauthored the expanded Dune series, so he's adept at handling big settings and complicated plots. Now, he's created a space opera saga, with the first three novels either published or about to be published. This book, billed as a prequel to that series, pictures a situation rich in tantalizing hints of intrigue. After an exhausted Earth launches a swarm of spaceships in the desperate hope of finding new resources, the explorers are rescued by humanoid and apparently benevolent aliens, who divulge the secret of FTL (faster than light) travel and give humans the chance to colonize uninhabited planets. Some of this book's episodes take place aboard the spaceships or on different planets; they involve human interaction with vegetable intelligence, ancient robots and beings who live deep in the atmosphere of a giant gas planet. Other episodes occur on Earth, where the leader is actually a pawn of the Hanseatic League's unscrupulous chairman. There are many possibilities waiting to be developedâ"perhaps too many to do justice to in this relatively short comic. As it is, Anderson's script feels more like the rushed synopsis of a story than the story itself. The book stands out, however, for its superlative art. Teranishi's rendering of characters, machines and alien planets is stunning, but Fouts-Broome deserves special credit for her wonderful coloring. The drawings flex and glow on the page, like a mixture of Frank Frazetta and Maxfield Parrish, providing the freshness and wonder that the sketchy script doesn't.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Eleven exploratory ships carrying people who don't want their descendants to have to live on what they see Earth becoming have now been discovered by another, more advanced, space-faring civilization, the Ildaran Empire. The empire helps the refugees--by now the several-generations-later offspring of the original voyagers--settle in suitable situations and sends diplomats with a few of them to Earth to establish commerce and other connections. This book nimbly skips between one or another of the refugees' various new homes and Earth. Some emigres get in dire straits, others go native in their new environments with wondrous results. Meanwhile, both Earth and Ildaran authorities bring hidden agendas to their first-contact discussions. Anderson opts for comics as the vehicle for the prequel to his prose-novel series, the Saga of Seven Suns (Hidden Empire
, A Forest of Stars
, and Horizon Storms
, forthcoming), and primary artist Robert Teranishi makes it look like the several million bucks it would cost as a movie. This is Star Wars
stuff, maybe a little smarter. Ray OlsonCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved