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Children of Hope    by David Feintuch order for
Children of Hope
by David Feintuch
Order:  USA  Can
Ace, 2002 (2001)
Hardcover, Paperback, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

I really thought this series had ended with Patriarch's Hope, but the author has revived it by taking it on to a new generation; it is as much the story of Derek Carr's son Randy, as of ex-SecGen Nick Seafort this time. Indeed, Randy shares many of the characteristics of a young Seafort. He's just as brilliant and innovative a problem-solver, though perhaps more impulsive. He's equally prone to take on too much responsibility for events, though, thankfully not with the same religious overtones as Seafort.

Fourteen-year-old Randy Carr is overly impulsive, and bounces from one set of serious troubles to another as he follows his heart. His initial hate for Seafort (whom he blames for the death of his father Derek) is eventually transformed into filial love, and he ends up aboard the colossal spaceship Olympiad with his mentor. The Seafort saga worlds are ones in which the Church has great secular authority. In this episode Seafort, prone from his deeply religious upbringing to support the Church, finally takes it on.

Politics on the ship and on colony world Hope Nation are quickly complicated by the arrival of the dreaded alien Fish. Though most hate and fear them, Seafort is relieved that he does not, after all, have genocide on his conscience. He sees this as a second chance. Randy enthusiastically joins him in attempting communication with the aliens and in trying to avert a new war that could kill millions. They both face mutiny and excommunication, and must deal with their deepest fears.

Children of Hope is a welcome addition to this exciting series, both as one of its best episodes and in its introduction of Randy Carr as a new, young hero to keep the Seafort universe going.

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