four-stars
Bookmarks Issue: 
30-Sept-Oct-2007
By: 
Kay Kenyon
user_rating: 
0

Book One of the Entire and the Rose

A-Bright of the SkyA bizarre industrial accident prompts the directors of the powerful Minerva Company to seek out former starship pilot Titus Quinn, who disappeared into a black hole with his family only to resurface alone several weeks later with hazy memories of an artificially fabricated parallel universe called the Entire. In the belief that they can use the Entire to revolutionize interstellar space travel, company bigwigs blackmail Quinn into returning to assess its potential and to serve as an envoy to the dominant alien race, the Tarig. Masquerading as a humble soldier, Quinn, struggling to regain his memory and find his wife and daughter, uncovers the Tarig’s plot to conquer the Earth.
Pyr. 453 pages. $25. ISBN: 1591025419

SF Site 4.5 of 5 Stars
"Bright of the Sky enchants on the scale of your first encounter with the world inside of Rama, or the immense history behind the deserts of Dune, or the unbridled audacity of Riverworld. … The characters are as solid as the world they live in, and Kenyon’s prose sweeps you up and never lets go." Greg L. Johnson

Sci Fi Weekly 4 of 5 Stars
"It’s a bravura concept bolstered by fine writing; lots of plausible, thrilling action; old-fashioned heroism; and strong emotional hooks." Paul Di Filippo

SF Revu 4 of 5 Stars
"While it is impossible, at this point, to judge how the whole series will turn out, it is easy enough to admit that if the following books are just half of what this one is, that Kenyon will have crafted a real winner. … A definite fun read if you’re looking for broad, sweeping adventures in the mold of Dune or Riverworld." Steve Sawicki

Science Fiction and Fantasy News 3.5 of 5 Stars
"With a rich and vivid setting, peopled with believable and sympathetic characters and fascinating aliens, Kay Kenyon has launched an impressive saga with Bright of the Sky. … [Some of the narrative] transitions aren’t entirely smooth and I found myself re-reading passages to be sure to whom the words were being attributed." Rob H. Bedford

SF Signal 3.5 of 5 Stars
"Bright of the Sky effortlessly blends science fiction concepts and world-building with fantasy story telling to create a unique and intriguing whole. … After a rousing start, Bright of the Sky moves at a much more sedate pace, as events and information slowly unfold." J.P. Frantz

Washington Post 3.5 of 5 Stars
"What ensues is a splendid fantasy quest as compelling as anything by Stephen R. Donaldson, Philip Jose Farmer or, yes, J.R.R. Tolkien. However, readers would do well to pass quickly through the initial frame, set on an Earth that, as envisioned by Kenyon, has none of the detail or richness of Ian McDonald’s novel." Jeff Van der Meer

Critical Summary

Bright of the Sky, Kay Kenyon’s seventh novel, took critics by surprise. Compared to works by Frank Herbert and Philip Jose Farmer, this impressive first installment in a planned four-part series won them over with its riveting plot, vividly imagined alternate universe, and exotic alien denizens. Titus Quinn is a charming anti-hero, fully fleshed-out and likable; Kenyon’s secondary characters are also convincing and memorable. One critic felt that some narrative jumps were confusing, and the Washington Post compared Kenyon’s early chapters on 23rd-century Earth to "a kind of retro (1950s) view of the future," but these were considered minor complaints. With elegant prose and a solid grounding in real-life physics, Kenyon has conjured a spellbinding, action-packed planetary romance.