PATRIARCH'S HOPE by David Feintuch


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From the author of The Still (1997), an addition to an established military SF series, the Seafort Saga (Voices of Hope, 1996, etc.) narrated by UN Secretary General Nick Seafort. In 2241, colonies flourish throughout the solar system and other stars, from which Earth, recovering from a war with aliens and threatened by environmental collapse must import food. Seafort’s beloved Navy insists on commissioning huge expensive new spaceships, but when he inspects one he’s appalled to find unwonted and unegalitarian luxury. Politically, he struggles to keep the world government on his side, while the Church Patriarchs threaten to excommunicate him if he doesn’t agree to their venal agenda. Still, he rejects a prestigious award for moral leadership, becomes reconciled with his estranged ecological-activist son Philip, and licks his young aides into shape. But then, crippled in a bombing attack by the terrorist Eco Action League, and forced by Philip to acknowledge the parlous state of the planet, he brings forward legislation to begin reversing the damage. Furious, Seafort’s enemies combine against him, despite his overwhelming popularity. Following a mutiny aboard the huge and powerful starship Galactic, Captain Stanger threatens to laser Earth into submission unless the rebels’ demands are met. Seafort, undergoing experimental medical treatment on the Moon, avoids immediate death or arrest, and decides to attempt to capture Galactic and end the mutiny with only his ex-Navy wife and a handful of old friends and young cadets to help. Lots of emotional nurturing—it helps disguise the brutal floggings still prevalent in this man’s Navy—politicking, and religion, but limited action: okay for the teenaged target audience, of little interest otherwise.

Pub Date: May 12th, 1999
ISBN: 0-446-52458-1
Page count: 528pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 1999


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