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*"Life-sized characters with personal and cosmic preoccupations, tense and knotty plotting, and Kress's usual abundance of ideas: gripping, challenging work, a reassuring return to top form."—Kirkus Reviews starred review
"A satisfying thought experiment in science and philosophy. . . . Fans of serious SF will enjoy this tale of bravery, travel, adventure, and personal and social crisis."—Publishers Weekly
"In this latest thrilling offering by Kress, world-building and character development are flawlessly executed in a thought-provoking conjunction of passivity and morality."—Romantic Times Book Club
"Kress's aliens are convincing, and her colonists are all fascinating, developed individuals. The New Quakers embody their tenets: truth, simplicity, silence, and conscience. Dr. William Shipley, an aged, overweight, troubled father and New Quaker, is the moral center of the book. Together with colony leader Jake Holman, a troubled exec who bankrolled the colony with embezzled funds, the doctor determines the furure of both alien species and humanity as well. This thought-provoking book is highly recommended for high school libraries and young adult collections in public libraries."-VOYA
"Kress operates up to her usual high standards, and she also makes ethical dilemmas as gripping as laser fights and the results of human-alien conflict rather than depend on which human contacts which alien. Choice stuff."—Booklist
Posted December 9, 2008
Four decades ago Jake Holman and thousands of settlers following him were trapped in the middle of an inter-galaxy war between the militaristic humanoid Furs and the serene flora-like Vines. Jake and his followers supported the Vines against the bellicose Furs though the odds heavily favored the latter. The Vines used a last-hope virus to remove the aggressive tendencies of the Furs.......................... Jake is old and frail, but feels proud of his accomplishments especially the diversity he brought to Greentrees. Still a fierce contention exists between the Chinese in the city Hope of Heaven against the technocrats of Mira City. When the earth ship CRUCIBLE arrives on Greentrees, Captain Julian Martin ruthlessly uses that antagonistic rivalry to further his ambitions to become planetary dictator. He seduces Technology Resources Allocation Officer Alexandra Cutler, a member of the Mira City executive triumvirate, and other key citizens to do his bidding. Off planet the fighting between the Furs and the Vines remains heated. On and off the orb, Jake¿s dream is turning nightmarish.......................... The sequel to CROSSFIRE, CRUCIBLE contains plenty of action and intriguing alien species with deeply developed cultures. The story line moves along two paths, off and on the planet, but also is somewhat difficult to follow because of the complex continuous changes as to what is the core of the tale. Most interesting for those who read the first novel is how much Jake has aged from the swashbuckling hero to an elderly statesman ignored by the next generation as being yesterday¿s news. Fans, as they did with Nancy Kress¿ previous outer space cerebral thriller, will ponder the author¿s concept that society needs to defend the right to live alternate .and minority lifestyles.............................. Harriet Klausner
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Posted February 14, 2012