Daw, Jul 2002, 6.99, 591 pp.
Interstellar Captain Lindal Karr transports humans from Sheldon's World to Evermore when a stowaway claiming to be Lindal's guardian angel Bob begins killing the passengers while they sleep in a fugue state. Lindal who is immune to fugue sleep is helpless to stop Bob who perseveres in a normal state that enables him to live with an incredibly faster metabolism that also makes him seem invisible to Lindal. Bob forces the Long Reach to crash into the ocean of the remote planet of New Ascension.
The colonists on New Ascension struggle with a deadly local microbe. They barely survive a little longer by draining the immunity serum of the native sentient population the Khafra, an action that kills the Khafra.. Civil war is imminent with Jenette Tesla, daughter of the human leader, desperately trying to find peace and stop the genocide. Lindal with fugue might be the miracle if the colonists let him live long enough to help, but who to trust among the planetary colonists, the victimized Khafra, or the mysterious angel Bob?
THE BURNING HEART OF NIGHT contains an interesting look at the cost of survival that humans will pay for a few extra years of life. Though Bob is cloaked in mystique, the identity of the being is obvious early on. Lindal understands being different while Jenette represents the good in mankind with her willingness to do what she believes is the right thing. Albeit solutions to extremely complex interspecies issues are overly simplified, science fiction readers will relish this exciting futuristic other world tale.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner