Anvil of Stars
By Greg Bear
Anvil of Stars is the sequel to The Forge of God, written by Greg Bear.
Sometimes reviewing a sequel is nearly impossible without spoiling the first book for people who hasn't read it. This is one of those times and I'm not going to try, so if you haven't read The Forge of God (tFoG) yet, don't read beyond this paragraph. I can safely say that Anvil of the Stars doesn't in anyway make me regret that I read The Forge of God. Both of the books do quite well on their own, but reading them out of order is not recommended.
[Spoilers for The Forge of God ahead]
After the destruction of Earth in tFoG, eighty-two of the surviving kids are selected to go on a mission to find and kill the creators of the robots that destroyed earth. Even travelling at close to the speed of light travelling from star to star takes time and a lot of the story is about how the kids manage their internal relations and their society. Kind of a waterede down version of Lord of the Flies vs. Lost In Space. Interesting in it self and very good for the character development. Nice to see that Bear can take the time and do decent character building when he wants to. I did find the characters kind of alien, but maybe that was on purpose, who know what a bunch of teenagers will turn into after five years without adult supervision (as if anybody knows what they will turn into with supervision)?
The story soon picks up pace and the kids get a chance at revenge, but first they have to decide whether their evidence is good enough or they may turn out to be no better than the killers that destroyed Earth. Once again Bear takes a fairly simple idea and takes it to the limit. The science behind the Noarch technology in this book, may not be as essential for the book as nano-technology is for Blood Music, but it no less fantastic and it's nice to see good characters combined with such a far reaching and interesting idea. One of Bears best.
Written on 1st January 2001 by TC .