Eternity's Mind is the climactic final book in Kevin J. Anderson's Saga of Shadows Trilogy, which began with the Hugo nominee The Dark Between the Stars. The Saga of Shadows, as well as its predecessor series, the internationally best-selling Saga of Seven, are among the grandest epic space operas published in this century.
Two decades after the devastating Elemental War, which nearly destroyed the cosmos, the new Confederation restored peace and profitable commerce among the peoples and worlds of the Spiral Arm. The ambitious, innovative Roamers went back to their traditional business of harvesting the vital stardrive fuel ekti from the clouds of gas giant planets, and the telepathic green priests of Theroc provided instantaneous galaxy-wide communication via their connection to the powerful and sentient worldtrees. The alien Ildiran Empire rebuilt their grand Prism Palace under the light of their seven suns, and their Mage-Imperator declared a new age of expansion and discovery.
But peace was not to last. The malevolent Klikiss robots soon found an ally in the ancient and near-omnipotent Shana Rei, destructive creatures who are the personification of darkness and chaos, awakened after millennia of slumber to destroy all sentient life in the universe. The Confederation and the Ildiran Empire fought in every way possible, but the Spiral Arm itself seemed doomed.
All across the transportal network, space is tearing apart, and the links between the gateways are breaking down, the fabric of space unraveling. The worldtrees are dying, entire planets are englobed in impenetrable black barriers erected by the Shana Rei, and the murderous taint has infiltrated the Ildiran race as well as Mage-Imperator Jora'h himself.
Desperate for stardrive fuel to power the military and all space travel, the industrialist Lee Iswander has been extracting ekti - the blood of the cosmos - from mysterious giant nodules found floating in empty space, draining these "bloaters" dry by the thousands. But in doing so, is he weakening the only ally that all of civilization may have against the Shana Rei?
A breathtakingly large canvas with a huge cast of characters, Eternity's Mind is the grand finale of a story as complex as any science fiction epic you will ever read.
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This was a wonderful conclusion to the stories! Having read ALL of the Saga series and all of this trilogy, I am so very pleased at the wrap-up. Very pleased. Thank you Kevin. And thank you Mark.
Military and Science
This was a great addition to the Saga of The Seven Suns and I really hope the series will continue!
Even in the end I could feel little empathy toward the "bloaters". Engineering a name change would have helped; after all, look at the effect renaming "jungles" to "rain forests" had done. Sarcasm aside, I found the whole "Mind of the universe" concept more than a little over the top; this even after I had come to terms with the Shana Rei sentient and sapient entropy cloud.
Still, with the vast number of characters, Kevin did an excellent job of maintaining their mini-story arcs through the end and spending time to bring a sense of finality to each of the significant characters. Strangely, while accepting that Londa (Lee Iswander's wife) was a very minor character, I found myself wanting her future to have been finalized.
As I've come to expect, Mark Boyett's performance was excellent. I realized after reflecting on the vastness of the trilogy, often requiring repetitive reminders of each of the many characters, that this would have seemed much more tedious with many other narrators.
It was a good ending to a solid trilogy.
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