"An engaging science fiction book"
After five centuries on Hera, the human colony of Hope
is an agricultural society dominated by the Council and the
Church. However, the current cycle has been nasty as the
five-year summer fails to arrive, leading to a scarcity of
food for a hungry populace. On top of that, an alien
deadly disease and the arrival of the dangerous Frill shake
the planet further. When the King dies, Chief Council
Hillor pushes forward his plan to have the wealthy handle
food distribution while Church leader Lord Denon turns to
the Holy Scripture as written by William Blake for guidance.
Meanwhile a street punk Vel rejects the notion of
laboring in the fields because he prefers cons and
stealing. That changes when he learns he is in the
succession to the vacant throne of Hope. Though he refuses
to become involved in the power struggle, Hillor and others
want to use Vel. If they cannot, one of the factions or
perhaps a Frill will simply kill Vel.
HOPE'S END is an engaging science fiction book that
plays out on multiple levels. The coming of age of the
hero Vel is the prime theme of the story line, but choices
for the other key participants permeate the plot and making
it very complex. The novel starts slow so that the readers
can understand the fully developed society, but eventually
picks up to light year speed. Stephen Chambers provides
quite a debut that will rock genre fans with the hope of a
new talent for many years to come.
Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted August 23, 2001