Thursday, November 17, 2005

foster's the light-years beneath my feet

Former Chicago commodities broker turned gourmet chef Marcus Walker and his alien companions – George the talking dog, Braouk the poetic Tuuqalian, and Sequi the intelligent K’eremu – just want to go home, but they don’t know how to get there. They escaped from the slave-trading alien race, Vilenjjii, only to find themselves on another alien planet; no matter how peaceful Sessrimathe is, it’s not home. Walker’s increasing expertise in the kitchen nets him a job offer by a star-crossing race much further out on the Milky Way’s spiral arm. Even though none of them know if it’s the right arm of the galaxy, at least they’ve found a way to leave Sessrimathe. The four set off to a world where warfare is a game, played by traditional rules that restrict military technology to a medieval level, but simultaneously give newscasters sophisticated broadcast equipment to beam live action to every city. Reluctant readers seeking an engaging science fiction novel will gravitate toward this book. Although this is book two in “The Taken” trilogy, it’s not necessary to read the previous book in the series. Alan Dean Foster’s trademark dry wit, colorful characters, and talented retelling of the traditional fish-out-of water story will keep the attention of even the most reluctant of readers.