Top positive review
many developments in characters, one insoluable problem swept under the rug
Reviewed in the United States on May 30, 2021
This is one of Heppner's best written books. The characters develop more than any three previous novels. The groundwork for substantial changes in the structure of the New Men civilization AND the human civilization are laid, which it seems the author intends to explore. Also, a reason for the disappearance of The Builders is finally revealed. The author responded to a fan letter than he does intend to continue this series, in some new directions.
As one review states, there are some faults. The handling of Maddox's inevitable conflict with the New Men regarding the murder of his father portrays Maddox as a fool. However, this dilemma was a plot device for much of the series and to get on to new things it has to be dealt with. There basically was no satisfactory outcome, so the author chose to portray Maddox as less than superman. I agree it was out of character, but I also see the point of moving on. It would be unrealistic for Maddox to become emperor of the New Men, or to leave the matter unchallenged.
There is a similar dilemma in regard to the new energy alien who scared off the Builders. It appears manipulative, but not entirely evil, though the librarian AI insists it is. It remains to be seen how Heppner will deal with this. In other series Heppner takes the position everyone must be enemies of everyone else. In this series he appears to be searching for some other outcome. We will see.