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    Review of HORIZON STORMS by Kevin J. Anderson (see his website)

    Aspect/Warner, July 2004

    The war against the hydrogues continues to go badly--only the Ildiran suicide-ramming attack has had any effect at all--and the duplicity of the Klikiss robots is gradually becoming apparent, but the Chairman of the Hansa decides that he must have a victory--and unite the human population. When the Roamers refuse to deliver essential fuel, he authorizes a series of attacks on them, planning on pressuring them into rejoining the Hansa majority.

    The hydrogues appear to be winning the war, but ancient enemies, including the tree-forests of Theron, the powerful but chaotic star-dwelling faeros, and the strange conscious water-being, embedded in Jess Tamblyn, keep the hydrogues from spending more than token attention on humans and their humanoid allies, the Ildiran. Which is lucky for humanity--since both Ildiran and humans are launching their own civil wars.

    Author Kevin J. Anderson (see more reviews of novels by Anderson) jumps from character to character, describing the war, the lucky technology finds, and the slimy-types who use the moment of humanity's greatest danger to pursue their personal goals.

    HORZION STORMS is the third in a huge series detailing the war, the multiple 'civilizations,' of the distant future, and the strange symbiotic relationships developing between human and Ildiran, human and water-creature, and human and tree. HORIZON does suffer from middle-book syndrome. There is a lot of setting up, a lot of angsting over choices, a lot of repeating what readers of earlier books already know, and not enough action and forward-moving plot.

    Fans of the series will want to grab HORIZON STORMS. This probably is not the place to start reading the series--the story just doesn't make sense without the earlier books. Also, I suspect that missing this one wouldn't dramatically reduce the reader's enjoyment of the next story--not enough happens. Still, fans of Space Opera SF will enjoy this one.

    Two Stars

    Reviewed 10/05/04

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