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Bright of the Sky: Entire and the Rose: Book 1 by Kay Kenyon
Review by Steve Sawicki
Pyr Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 1591025419
Date: 03 April, 2007 List Price $25.00 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

The first book in a new science fiction series that blends cyberpunk sensibilities with good old fashioned space opera action.

Bright of the Sky is based on the idea that other worlds exist along side our own. Not necessarily parallel universes but universes that can only be reached through small windows that constantly open and close. Titus Quinn has gone through one of these windows, along with his wife and daughter. Now he is on Earth, alone, with little memory of what happened, just a ten year gap and a story that no one can seem to deny, or believe. Given the chance to return to the place he does not remember but is convinced still holds his wife and daughter, Quinn refuses. Only blackmail manages to move him to eventually give in to the request of the Minerva corporation. Quinn's passage is not without peril as he awakes with a head wound and under guard. Soon he finds himself a pawn in a game where too many people seem to remember him while he remembers none of them. Slowly, very slowly, memory is returning, memory of his time in the Entire and of his life under the Bright.

There is a lot going on in this book, at least three sub plots working to complicate the main story. This adds a richness to the story and also lends itself to a work that is going to be long. Where many other trilogies contain stories that essentially begin and end with each book while still moving the larger plot forward, this book only adds pieces, ending on a rather soft note.

Kenyon has been writing for a long time, mostly short stories, so many will view this kind of leap with a bit of skepticism. However, like many writers, Kenyon has been working on her craft on any number of levels and one should not look solely at the published work as a judge of what any writer can do. This is a good book. While it is impossible, at this point, to judge how the whole series will turn out, it is easy enough to admit that if the following books are just half of what this one is, that Kenyon will have crafted a real winner. The Entire Universe is a fascinating one that is huge in scope and diabolical in operation. The personal journey of Titus Quinn is full of twists and turns and roadblocks. The other operators in this broad game are at least as interesting as Quinn and possibly more motivated, if by less emotional reasons. A definite fun read if you're looking for broad, sweeping adventures in the mold of Dune or Riverworld.


Our Readers Respond

From Kay Kenyon:
    Bright of the Sky has been something of a magnum opus for me, and I think "huge in scope" was an apt descriptor. It has been five years in the making, and comprises a quartet of books, not a trilogy. This is actually my seventh novel; my two previous novels were short-listed, respectively, for the Philip K. Dick award and the John W. Campbell awards. I was particularly gratified that the reviewer enjoyed the broad range of characters in the story, since I work hard at characterization, and most other reviewers have focused on the world-building. I puzzled over the "soft note" to describe the story's ending. I thought it was rather rousing, but if you meant that it did not provide ultimate resolution of the issues, that I do acknowledge. Comparing the novel to Dune and Riverworld pretty well embodies my ambition for the book! Thank you for the thoughtful review.

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