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Reviewed by Charles Remington for Readers' Favorite
The sophisticated and aloof Skae, an ancient galaxy-faring race, plan to harness the power of a star which, once collapsed into a black hole singularity, will provide unlimited free energy. The unfortunate consequence of this seemingly brilliant scheme, however, is that half the galaxy will be destroyed in the process. The Gorvin, also an interplanetary race and once close allies of the Skae, attempt to put a stop to the plan, but the result is a vicious galactic war which rages for hundreds of years, leaving whole planets destroyed and countless millions dead or homeless.
Empyrean by Jim Cronin is the third book of The Brin Archives and describes how the Brin, Jontar Rocker, who is on trial for the murder of his father, Maliche, allies himself with members of the Kolandi people who also share the same planet, all determined to bring an end to this seemingly endless conflict. Struggling against tribal machinations and political subterfuge, they embark on a terrifying journey in both space and time, uncovering astonishing facts about the true nature of the Skae - facts that shed new light on the origins of the conflict and information that can change the course of history. But can they use this new-found knowledge to bring about a lasting peace? Will the arrogant Skae even listen to those trying to end the hostilities?
Even though Empyrean is the third book of The Brin Archives and brings the series to a close, it stands on its own with no necessity to read the previous volumes in order to enjoy the story lines. Well-written, with an astounding cast of alien characters, Empyrean is crammed with imaginative concepts and sometimes mind-boggling ideas. The narrative moves along at a brisk pace, switching seamlessly between several story lines, all of which are brought expertly together in the final denouement. Those who have read the previous two books will not be disappointed and neither will those new to the series. I thoroughly enjoyed this book - it is sound, classic science fiction and highly recommended.