DEATHDAY by William C. Dietz

DEATHDAY

KIRKUS REVIEW

Routine alien invasion story of blithely nasty outerspace insects and a bickering bunch of humans who, in this first in a series, decide to fight back. The carnivorous insectoid Saurons are actually three races in one: the autocratic, ruling class called the Zin, the engineering and professional class called the Kan, and the lowly Fon who do everything else. They've come to earth to enslave what few humans are left and have them build what the Saurons call a temple. They appoint Washington State Governor Alexander Franklin as the new President, who, in his desire to preserve as many lives as possible, appears to be more a collaborator than a leader to his wife, Jina, and a group of white supremacists, one of whom, Marta, is the crazed sister of security specialist Jack Manning, our hero. Cast among the slaves on the temple project, Manning finds his path crossing that of Jina Franklin, who also thinks her husband is afraid to resist. They discover that temple will be used for a lethal “rebirthing” ritual so disgusting that they keep it secret. As an act of subversion, the humans teach the Fon how to read and write and thus disseminate information about the rebirthing, causing some of the Fon to consider rebelling. Meanwhile, President Franklin, who really isn't the Quisling the Saurons portray him to be, is marked for death by the rebel white supremacists. Can Jack Manning, who would rather have Franklin die so he can take Franklin's place with Jina, save the day?

Against Dietz's plucky, paper-thin human characters, his flimsy aliens, based on Imperial Chinese and European colonial stereotypes, do not stand a chance.

Pub Date: Sept. 4th, 2001
ISBN: 0-441-00857-7
Page count: 368pp
Publisher: Ace/Berkley
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2001




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