In this sequel to How Like a God, Rob is back with his wife and family. He's changed his life and mostly learned to cope with his powers of mind control and thought reading, but he still hasn't told anyone except his friend Edwin Barbarossa - the scientist who saved Rob's sanity in the first book, and who Rob saved in return with the gift of eternal life. However, things begin to go awry for Rob and Edwin when Edwin nearly dies in a disaster aboard a spacecraft, and the secret of his immortality gets out. Edwin is captured by a somewhat standard Shady Businessman, who wants in on the immortality thing, and will stop at nothing to get it. Rob once again saves Edwin, but then they're both on the run from the bad guy, and must decide how much exposure they can stand. Clough's second book doesn't really have the stength or depth of the first one, but it's an interesting continuation, if nothing else.
This report prepared by Ivy
Tor, Jul 2001, 13.95, 268 pp.
Seven years have passed since Rob Lewis obtained his power to bend minds to his will while Edwin Barbarosa gained immortality (see HOW LIKE A GOD). Rob now has family problems with his spouse Julianna, who feels he fails to support her needs. However, when three muggers attack Juliana, an outraged Rob mentally forces the three punks to jump into the Potomac.
Meanwhile Edwin is returning to Earth after a year on the moon, but the shuttle catches fire. All on board are dead except the immortal Edwin. He quickly becomes the only suspect in a closed-door mass murder mystery. However, that is the least of his troubles as Rob and Edwin's woes have just begun because a powerful individual knows about Edwin's immortality and plans experiments to obtain the secret.
DOORS OF DEATH AND LIFE is an exciting science fiction sequel that deeply digs into the use and potential abuse of power. Readers will believe that Rob and Edwin possess these non-human abilities by the way they use their power and the ethics questions that linger especially when Rob applies his talent. The villain seems more like Wile Coyote than a real individual, but his cartoonish manner does not hinder the basic premise that God-like powers should result in greater restraint. Though similar tales have been told in classic Star Trek and the Right Hand of God, Brenda Clough's latest novel will elate those science fiction fans that enjoy a complex moral story.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner