Children of Hope, the seventh book in David Feintuch's Seafort Saga, continues the story of Captain Nicholas Seafort and sheds new light on the alien invaders known as the Fish. Seafort may have survived all manner of battles, rebellions, and ecological challenges, but the vengeance of one 14-year-old boy could cost him his life.
Randy, the angry son of Derek Carr, blames Seafort for his father's death. Derek was the Stadholder of Hope Nation, a planet struggling for survival and freedom. After Derek's death, Hope Nation was plunged into political uncertainty and young Randy was left fatherless. One defiant act against the powerful Church launches Randy into an adventure that will lead him to face Hope Nation's church leaders, alien invaders, and the man he deems responsible for his father's death, Nicholas Seafort. At stake is not only Randy's life, but the fate of Hope Nation itself.
Feintuch, the winner of the John W. Campbell Award for best new writer, continues his military SF saga by creating another complicated character. Young Randy is just as tortured, difficult, and guilt-ridden as Seafort, but he has his own story to tell. While the unrelenting action mixes nicely with the political and alien invasion subplots, Randy ends up being a little too unpredictable. Too often he seems more like an 8-year-old than a 14-year-old, and at points it's hard to sympathize with him. In fact, the event that begins Randy's adventure is so unbelievable that it casts a shadow over the first half of the book, until the action heats up and the story truly gets exciting. Even so, Seafort Saga fans won't want to miss this installment, especially to discover how the Fish figure in. --Kathie Huddleston