Priam's Lens

by Jack L. Chalker

Review by James J. Walton

After discovering a faster than light speed drive, spreading out into the galaxy and filling hundreds of worlds with billions of people, the human race is threatened with extinction when a race of very enigmatic aliens appears and begin conquering the human worlds one by one.

These aliens, called Titans because of their godlike power, seem completely indifferent to the humans living on the planets they conquer. They transform the worlds to their liking, never caring if the billions of humans live or die.

The annihilation of the human race seems certain until rumors of a long forgotten weapon surface. This weapon, Priam's Lens, is located on the Titan controlled world of Helena and a group of scientists and mercenaries decide to go in after it. No one knows if the weapon really exists or if it is operational but it is seen as mankind's last chance.

Priam's Lens is actually two stories in one, the first being that of the crew searching for the lost weapon. The second tale is that of the remnants of humanity on Helena and the lifestyle they lead as they try to stay alive and preserve as much of their society as possible. The indigenes have reverted to a near stoneage existence. Of course these two groups meet in time for the novel's climax.

Although the ending seems a bit rushed and there are a couple odd coincidences, Chalker ties up the loose ends of Priam's Lens nicely and gives us a decent tale of adventure. Jack Chalker delivers once again.

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