Crossfire Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Crossfire

Tor, Feb 2003, 24,95, 364 pp.
ISBN: 0765304678

The end days seem apparent for the troubled earth so Mira Corporation CEO Jake Holman and his company manager Gail Cutler decide to build a starship The Ariel to escape. They sell passage to six thousand wealthy patrons from an assortment of earthlings. The group travels through space before establishing Mira City on the planet Greentrees.
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The settlers meet the Furs, who are also from off world. Subgroups of Furs behave extremely different from others with some violent and some passive, but no mixing of behavior within a subgroup. Not long afterward, an alien ship arrives containing the Vines. Though the colonists' military wing attacks the newcomers in vain, the Vine remains peaceful and seeks talks. The expatriate earthlings learn that the Vines and the Furs are at war. Soon a Fur ship attacks the Vine vessel and captures Jake, Gail, and other humans. To keep Mira City and Earth safe from a Fur assault Jake (and company) must destroy the force field that protects the Vines' homeworld.

Though not quite at the level of the Probability trilogy, CROSSFIRE is a terrific first contact tale loaded with action as the three species seem genuine and the key characters whether human, Fur, or Vine seems real. However, what makes this action packed outer space tale so strong is the competing battle of philosophies as ideas are fully discussed yet interwoven so as not to slow down the hyperspeed pace. Though the ending will disappoint some readers, Nancy Kress will once again take the genre by storm with her usual cerebral action adventure thriller.

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of Crossfire

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Descript. of chases or violence 10%planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 20%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 40%Descript. of society, phenomena (tech), places 30% Tone of book    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?    -   science fiction story Explore/1st contact/ enviro story    -   Yes Explore:    -   colonizing/homesteading another planet Political power play    -   Yes Political plotlets    -   saving govt/kingdom from external overthrow Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Cultural problems, alien culture    -   Yes Culture clash-    -   one culture tries to impose its culture on another group Intense exploration of society's culture?    -   Yes

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Profession/status:    -   champion of justice Age:    -   20's-30's


A substantial portion of this book takes place on a non-Earth planetary body:    -   humans in a futuristic society    -   inhabited by friendly aliens    -   unfriendly aliens Planet outside solar system?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment scientific jargon? (SF only)    -   a fair amount of scientific explanation How much dialogue?    -   significantly more dialog than descript

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Nancy Kress Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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