Half-baked interstellar intrigue yarn-cum-antireligion polemic, from the author of the promising Budspy (1987). Following the collapse of technological galactic civilization, the Church of the Quest has become the most powerful and most determined organized group. The motive of these Seekers: to find the Divine Point, the physical location of God in space! But do they have a more sinister, political, purpose too? Yes--at least so thinks Melkorn, Planetary Administrator of Davner, whose wife Ellis abandoned him and daughter Rikki for the Church a decade ago. Now Ellis is back on Darner, ostensibly to head a training center and recruitment drive; actually, her instructions are to take over the planet. And there doesn't seem to be much that poor Melkom can do to stop Ellis--she even brazenly kidnaps Rikki--until Melkom gets some help from an unexpected source: the dreaded thunderbeasts of the Davner forests. Far from being fierce carnivores, the huge thunderbeasts turn out to be smug, civilized, telepathic, technological whizzes who talk like nine-year-old tenured professors--and they don't like the Church attitudes any more than Melkorn does. Lots of arguments, religious, pro and con, thus long on chat and short on plot. The wretchedly ineffectual Melkom doesn't help; neither do the idiotic aliens. Sophomoronic.