Threshold (Boundary II) – Eric Flint & Ryk E. Spoor

Our friends from Boundary are back in a pretty direct sequel to the first book. The race is on to find more Bemmie bases. The Ares Project, despite having managed to get a foothold on Mars, is strapped for cash and resources. With some clever manoeuvring they manage to get both, and set off towards first Ceres, then Enceladus.

The first book was nicely crafted, with excellent character development. This second one feels much more forced, especially the first half. I really enjoyed going back and seeing what the gang was doing after the previous story ended, but was a bit disappointed at the lack of a strong story. This series will never be “heavy” but it needed a bit more than this effort. That being said, it harkens back to adventure science fiction from an earlier time, before all the dark and broody bits that are so in vogue nowadays. And so I still liked this book more than it perhaps deserves. The ending wasn’t quite a cliffhanger but certainly lacked resolution, leaving the door wide open for a sequel. Yes please.

6 Replies to “Threshold (Boundary II) – Eric Flint & Ryk E. Spoor”

  1. Thanks for the review!

    Sorry you didn’t feel it hit the same level as Boundary, though I often feel the same way about later books in a series; the Most Cool stuff is seen in the first book and there’s less you can do in the later ones to some extent.

    I’m glad you like it for the lack of dark and broody; that’s my pet peeve and I try to write as though I was in an earlier era (with adjustments for modern viewpoints and writing styles, of course). The Boundary series is meant as a sort of cross between the classic hard-edged Clarke (e.g., Rendezvous with Rama) and some of the better RAH Juveniles, at least in my mind. Achieving that level of course is a different matter but it’s my goal.

    The sequel will be Portal, I’ve finished the outline and am beginning writing on it (barring disaster) this weekend. With luck I’ll have the first draft done in a few months and Eric can then do his part. We want to avoid the four-year delay that got Threshold!

    1. Holy crap, it’s the author! Wow. That made my day.

      When the sequel is out, I’ll buy it! And if you need something “Most Cool” to happen, just get the Bemmies to return. 😉 One thing I really liked about another “ancient visitors to Sol” book, “Encounter with Tiber” is how (SPOILERS!) there was an actual message left behind for future explorers at the end, and by other explorers. In many ways, Boundary reminded me strongly of the themes in that book.

      Sorry it took so long to approve your comment but I get TONS of spam from people who want to elongate various bodyparts of mine or suggest get-quick-rich schemes. I even get spam from people who want to sell me on stuff that will reduce spam! Irony…

      1. Hi there! Just to follow up — Portal, the third (and for the moment final) volume in the series was handed in early this year, so I would expect to see Portal on the shelves early next year.

        You may also enjoy my solo work _Grand Central Arena_, if you haven’t tried it already. I also have a new epic fantasy, _Phoenix Rising_, coming out in November.

        Thanks for reading! 🙂

  2. Sorry, but I found Threshold weak by comparison with Boundary. This sequel is full of monotonous, gratuitous violence, technical wizardry that goes way beyond what might one day be feasible – and yet more soppy, improbable love affairs.

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