The "Saga of Seven Suns" continues with number six of the prolific Anderson's planned seven-part series. Unfortunately, like many of its predecessors (e.g., Scattered Suns), this is on autopilot. If the humans could just get it together enough to ally in a uniform effort against the ancient-and terribly pitiless-Klikiss robots (who have caused a rebellion of human-friendly compy robots) and the sentient fire beings called faeros, they'd stand a chance. But old humanoid rifts deepen as King Peter (finally!) breaks away from Hansa chair Basil Wenceslas to form a confederation of rebels, and the wonderfully weird Ildiran race remains obliviously self-absorbed. David Colacci's narration, while workmanlike, is tepid; combined with Anderson's predictable plot, the whole exercise proves lifeless, a continuation instead of a progression. The wildly huge cast and a gazillion story arcs will only confuse listeners new to the series; recommended only for fans and for libraries where the earlier installments did well. Perhaps Anderson's planned culmination of the series, The Ashes of Worlds(due in July 2008), will be better.
Douglas C. Lord
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