Tor, Mar 2002, 24.95, 316 pp.
Thirteen-year-old Charles “Chigger” Dingillian and his reconciling family seek a new home. They debate whether to relocate to the Outbeyond, light years from earth. Ultimately they vote overwhelmingly for relocating to the somewhat unknown Outbeyond.
However, the trip across the stars turns dangerous because everyone seems to want Chigger's HARLIE unit, an artificial intelligence device placed inside a monkey. The government, revolutionaries, and revelationists want HARLIE for different reasons. The government believes the device is so superior it will enable them to strengthen their positions of power. The revolutionaries want the unit so they can overthrow the government and take over the positions of power. However, the greatest known peril to the Dingillian brood comes from the revelationists who consider HARLIE as evil and his owners as devils needing eradication. Then there is HARLIE growing in intelligence to the point that even Chigger fears where the AI gadget is going.
LEAPING TO THE STARS is a fantastic concluding tale to David Gerrold's wonderful trilogy starring Chigger and his family. The story line is faster than space travel and will hook fans of the two previous novels from the very first meeting between the Dingillians and Commander Boynton leader of the ship taking them to the Outbeyond. New readers either should try the first two books before this novel or stay patient while Chigger methodically fills in the gaps from events previously told. Science fiction fans will jump, bounce, and leap to the stars with the Dingillian clan trilogy.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner