From Publishers Weekly
The second volume of the projected military space adventure trilogy begun with Threshold is fast-paced but otherwise inept. Joe South, a 21st-century test pilot, has been transported into the future during an experimental excursion into "spongespace," a sort of hyperspace. Rescued by the people of the 25th century (a la Buck Rogers), South is put to work on the huge space station Threshold with the hope that his unique perspective will help decipher the mysteries of the Ball, an alien artifact. Just as it seems that no one will solve the puzzle, three alien ships suddenly appear near the Ball, conveying an embassy from a vast confederation of alien races. Should they be welcomed? The issues are left hanging, presumably for the next installment. However, the plot elements and characters seem cut from older cloth, while the writing is pervaded by a superficial militarese (a wealth of clumsy acronyms; short, choppy sentences)--accordingly, many readers may disembark here.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Kirkus Reviews
Twenty-sixth-century alien-contact yarn, second in the trilogy begun with last year's paperback Threshold. Space scavenger Keebler finds a huge, mysterious, glowing Ball in space and tows it back to Threshold, humanity's base in the asteroid belt and portal to interstellar travel. Among those who suspect that the Ball's purpose is to facilitate alien contact is Joe South, a 21st-century test pilot who returned from an experimental voyage only to find that 500 years had elapsed; during his travels, he glimpsed the aliens but cannot now remember. After administrators, industrialists, and security chiefs wrangle over the Ball, the aliens--representing a galactic Unity of intelligent species--finally show up; administrator Mickey Croft meets their leader, the Interstitial Interpreter, and is profoundly changed by the experience--the aliens, you see, are dissociated from linear time. But since the humans cannot agree on a policy, the aliens withdraw, leaving the Ball as a portal for further contact; South recovers his memories, and Croft's new nonlinear awareness spreads to others at Threshold. Intriguing time/mind notions and quite promising aliens are undermined by wretchedly feeble plotting and threadbare characters: overall, no better than mediocre. -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.