Set in the years between humanity's acceptance into the ``galactic milieu'' and its achievement of telepathic ``unity'' with other metapsychic races, this sequel to Jack the Bodiless ( LJ 12/91) follows the early life of Dorothea Macdonald, a young woman striving to deny her formidable mental powers yet destined to become one of the world's most powerful minds. Dorothea's fate links her with the dynastic Remillard family and the psychopathic killer known only as ``Fury,'' forcing her to accept the keys that will unlock her talents. The author of the ``Pliocene Saga'' maintains a personal focus on her luminary characters, opening their private lives to intense scrutiny while at the same time expanding the boundaries of an imaginative future world. Rich in intrigue and vibrating with creative energy, this is a superb addition to sf collections.
In spite of a confusing opening section, those who persevere through Book II of the intricate Galactic Milieu Trilogy will discover an intriguing piece of work. Set in the year 2113 and told through the memoirs of Rogatien Remillard, the story looks back on events that took place half a century earlier, when humanity became part of a vast galactic civilization. Remillard's family, virtually immortal and psychically gifted, has become Earth's most powerful force. On the death of the evil Victor Remillard in 2040, an insane metapsychic creature known as Fury comes into being. Fury uses several corrupt younger Remillards, known collectively as Hydra, as its agent against his Great Enemy, the powerful young mutant Jon Remillard (from Book I, Jack the Bodiless ). Equal in power to both Jon and Fury is the young Dorothea Macdonald, who comes to be known as Diamond Mask. Will she join forces with Jon to oppose Fury, or will that frightful entity use her for its own purposes? May holds out the promise of answers in the trilogy's concluding volume, Magnificat. Meanwhile, readers should be forewarned not to peek at the final page here, where the Fury's secret is revealed. Then again, maybe it isn't. (Mar.)