02/03/2009. Contributed by Geoff Willmetts
pub: Pyr/Prometheus Books. 469 page hardback. Price: $25.98 (US). ISBN: 978-1-59102-698-3.
check out website: www.pyrsf.com and www.kaykenyon.com
There is a good argument for all book series to have a reminder of what happened in the previous books to remind the hapless reader and get them back into the swing again after a lay-off between books. Kay Kenyon's 'City Without End' practically lived up to its title with the four main characters spread out in a gigantic city hardly bumping into each other and with different agendas that you wonder how they'd bump into each other.
Take Titus Quinn, the first visitor from Earth or as the denizens of this reality call it, The Rose. He really wants to get the Tarig, the people who run The Entire, the name for this land-locked reality, to stop trying to kill him. There's Mo Ti, a friend of Quinn's who gets split from him and spends a lot of the time trying to find him again.
Then there's Helice,a later visitor and relative of Quinn, who wants him dead. There is also Cixi, who has a similar motive. Back on The Rose, the Earth if you're following me, a group are planning to come across to The Entire to evade their own capture, destroying the gate as they do so. Caitlin Quinn is trying to convince people of this rebellion and it dangers.
The real problem is there is so much meandering before the build-up at the end. None of which is helped by the characters sound alike nor do very much. If anything, it was a relief to return to Earth and see what was going on there. Having said that, when Kenyon did get her act together at the end of the book, at least you could see where it was going. Unfortunately, without much emotional content, the carry-through as to whether you cared for the individuals was somewhat let down.
If you read the two earlier books then you will need to know what happened next but I doubt if many readers will come in solely for book three. The Entire is an interesting reality but I did wonder if Kenyon was flagging here in wondering what to do with it.
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Stephen Hunt's novels - USA