Tor, Aug 2001, 16.95, 480 pp.
In 1996, Jupiter's sixth moon Europa suddenly vanishes. The media plays the disappearing act for a few weeks, but as usual that fades from their blip screen as they believe the public is apathetic towards some obscure moon. Scientists come up with numerous theories, but each have gigantic holes as no one knows what really happened. Most astronomers remain astounded that a relatively large object is missing sort of like a cosmic David Copperfield making the Statue of Liberty disappear.
In Death Valley, three Texas geologists find what seems as the first error of US Geological Survey charts they have ever come across. A very large unmarked mound not shown on the maps rises from the desert. The trio agrees that there is no way that this “mountain” could have been missed. Next they find an ailing alien who needs darkness to live who bears very bad news.. How will the human race react to what appears to be an encounter of a negative kind.
Though THE FORGE OF GOD is well written with an engaging premise, the book falls short because talented Greg Bear never decides between a classic invasion tale and a psychological reaction plot. Instead, readers are left with pieces of both, but neither is complete. The story line is fast-paced and entertaining and fans of invasion earth novels will find overall enjoyment. However, this reviewer was left with the disappointment of feeling shorted. Exploring the different mindset of how earthlings and the aliens respond to the end days of human life would have been unique and captivatingly refreshing, something that the audience will keep expecting until the novel is finished.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner