Tor, Oct 2003, 25.95, 320 pp.
While earthlings have voyaged to the stars, nations remain on the brink of war on the home planet. Desperate for peace, the world's leaders conclude that a super group must be formed if humanity is to survive. An elite thousand is chosen to make up the selected Families, earth's greatest gene pool that continuously will improve generation after generation.
The all but immortal members of the Families have ensured a Ten Million Year Peace. However, brilliant terraformer scientist Alice, the twelfth generation of the Chamberlain Family, now hides in her ancestral home. Distraught, bordering on suicidal, the millennium old Alice eventually informs her young relative Ord that she and her peers tried to build a new galaxy that has begun exploding killing billions. The Nuyens see this misfortune as a chance to gain supreme power by getting the Chamberlains and their allies outlawed for the genocide caused by Alice. Only Ord, secretly endowed with Alice's powers, is the hope the universe has to halt and hopefully reverse the destruction of the galaxy.
Fans of epic science fiction adventures will fully appreciate SISTER ALICE. The story line is action packed yet makes sure that the key characters are genuine and the laws of physics especially pertaining to the Families and Alice's experiment are consistent and feel scientifically based. The plot also provides cautionary themes that absolute power and unchecked science will turn arrogant and corrupt. If you have to choose one futuristic outer space adventure, Robert Reed's latest thriller should be on the short list as one of the year's best.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner