The Blog's Mission

Wikipedia defines a book review as: “a form of literary criticism in which a book is analyzed based on content, style, and merit. A book review can be a primary source opinion piece, summary review or scholarly review”. My mission is to provide the reader with my thoughts on the author’s work whether it’s good, bad, or ugly. I read all genres of books, so some of the reviews may be on hard to find books, or currently out of print. All of my reviews will also be available on I will write a comment section at the end of each review to provide the reader with some little known facts about the author, or the subject of the book. Every now and then, I’ve had an author email me concerning the reading and reviewing of their work. If an author wants to contact me, you can email me at I would be glad to read, review and comment on any nascent, or experienced writer’s books. If warranted, I like to add a little comedy to accent my reviews, so enjoy!
Thanks, Rick O.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

LEAR'S Daughters

This is the 2009 update to two books Marjorie B. Kellogg wrote in 1986. Those books,The Wave and the Flame and Reign of Fire, are now combined into a 739 page thriller that includes the latest theories on climate change and pollution.

The year is 2073. Oil supplies are depleted, food is scarce, coal pollutes the air, and big cities house Earth's remaining, dwindling population.Food and energy are imported from colony worlds, raped by Earth's exploitation. The search is on for a new clean energy source called Lithium, and the huge energy company ConPlex finds evidence of Lithium on planet Fiix.

Commander Weng Tsi Hue lands a ConPlex exploratory ship on Fiix with Dr. Taylor Danforth and his science team, and Dr. Emil Clausen, ConPlex's lead prospector. The planet is inhabited by beings with our DNA called the Sawls. They live in caves on high cliffs to shield themselves from the capricious weather conditions. The Terrans had expected to find desert conditions, but instead find ice and snow. Soon thereafter, a thaw causes a massive deluge. During the flood, Drs. Danforth and Clausen are lost flying a Sled plane while searching for Lithium.

Meanwhile, we find that the Sawls believe that the weather conditions are caused by an ongoing war between the Goddess sisters, one controlling heat and fire and the other controlling moisture and water. This theory is enforced by the Priest Guild, led by the arcane Lore Master, Kav Daven. The Terran ship's Linguistics officer, Stavros Ibia, not only agrees with the Sawls, but becomes privy to their many secrets. Stavros does everything possible to stop the mission and save the Sawls from being evicted from their planet.

The lost Sled team of Drs. Danforth and Clausen suddenly reappear. Danforth is badly hurt and Clausen claims to have found a major vein of Lithium. An argument ensues between Clausen and Stavros. Stavos wants the mission canceled. Clausen wounds Stavros, who escapes to the protection of the caves. The weather worsens; the Sawls decide to trek to their other cave development in Ogo Dul; Clausen hunts for Stavros; and, the Terran science team searches for the Goddess sisters. Then, the weather worsens again. Can the Goddesses be found and stopped? Can Clausen be stopped from ravaging the planet and evicting the Sawls? What secrets do the Sawls hold from the Terrans? What becomes of Stavros?

The science in this novel is very believable and well defined. For those concerned about our environment, this is a must read.The characterizations are top drawer. I don't know what changed between the versions as I didn't read the original two novels. This is a first-rate thriller from the first to the last page, the climax was amazing and unpredictable. My recommendation is simple - read it!

RATING: 4 out of 5 stars

Comment: Marjorie B. Kellogg, a.k.a. M. Bradley Kellogg is the author of the fantasy series: The Dragon Quartet. She also finds time to teach at Colgate University. William B. Rossow is her Science Advisor and Collaborator. Mr. Rossow's credentials include a past post at the Goddard Institute For Space Studies.