Hero or Killer?
In a startling future that's coming closer every year, Chet Kinsman is an astronaut ace who has done everything in space—including committing the first murder. It's a secret he can never escape, not even on the Moon, where he's head of the first U.S. lunar colony.
But suddenly, a series of shocking yet strangely inevitable circumstances forces Kinsman to confront his hidden past and decide Earth's destiny. In a desperate countdown to nuclear annihilation, Kinsman struggles against a deadly paradox: if he rescues the world, he may end up destroying himself.
Yarbro's romantic, colorful cycle of historical horror novels (Hotel Transylvania, Blood Games) focuses this time on Olivia, the noble Roman lady who became a lover of the vampire Count Sanct' Germain in the time of Nero. Hundreds of years later, in the sixth century, Olivia is forced to flee Rome as war flares. In the more repressive and vigilantly Christian city of Constantinople she is suspect as a foreigner and an unmarried woman of wealth. When her patron, General Belisarius, falls out of favor with Emperor Justinian, she has no protection from the zealous Court Censor. Although the fact that Olivia is a vampire makes little difference until the end, the book has a real, cumulative power as a portrait of an intelligent, cosmopolitan woman caught in a paranoid web of politics and religious persecution. Particularly striking are its connections between the personal and the historical, the most moving of which is the reaction to Justinian's ordering the burning of the Library of Alexandria, with its thousands of irreplacable ancient texts.
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Good stuff for us older farts
The only reason this gets 4 of 5 stars is that it's dated material. Only those of us who remember the cold war can fully appreciate this great work. If you're old enough to remember those times, this is a five star book. However great works of sci-fi are timeless, and this great book is, sadly, for us who can recall at least President Regan in terms of personal memory. If you're younger than that, as most ebook readers will be, keep a bit of an open mind to the past, as those of us who remember "duck... and cover" (movies shown in grade school how to survive a nuclear attack... really, look it up) know and appreciate this a tad bit more than you...