While the surface story is of an alien invasion, the sequestered Carmichael family in thier hilltop "fortress" is the real story. An interesting storyline for those into geneology and history. I found myself checking the beginning chapters of the book for "memories" later referenced and re-familiarizing myself before moving on. I read this book at least once a year. A keeper once you let go of the need to justify alien activities.
One of the best sci-fi novels I have read in some time. Silverberg has always been one of my favorites in this genre and in my opinion, this is one of his best! The novel details an alien invasion over a 50-year period using one family, the Carmichaels, as a focus. The Carmichaels struggle for years through several generations to try to rid the earth of the invaders with no success. Any attempt at killing the invaders results in harsh reprisals including a virus that kills more than half of earth's population. The invaders seem to be invincible and use humans as slave labor. During the invasion, many earthlings collaborate with the invaders and these "quislings" are hated and despised by the rest of humanity. There are several complex characters in the book mostly in the Carmichael family. The patriarch of the family fought in Vietnam and was named Anson, a name passed down through the generations and a nice tribute by Silverberg to Robert Anson Heinlein. Overall, a high recommendation for this one.
An engaging read, although the author didn't seem to know how to resolve his story of alien invasion.
Silverberg delivers with a tale of alien invasion that is as much the story of a remarkable family as it is science fiction. This compelling book will satisfy any reader. Highly recommended.
Enjoyed this book. I liked the ending, it was a surprise to me! Good reading.
Fifteen feet tall, the Entities land in cities across Earth.Then they plunge humans into an new Dark Age without electricity, allowing us to live-but not as a dominant species. But the Carmichael family refuse to submit to fate, as they attempt to kill the Prime Entity and free the planet.
This rating was a tough one, it probably deserves 3 just based on how well written it is. But the rating given is in a large part based on my subjective enjoyment of the book and it all came down to this nagging unhappiness that kept creeping up on me throughout the book (and good grief it's almost 500 pages long! but I finished it) and the huge letdown I felt at the ending.
Even though most of the book is taken up with this one group/family striving to accomplish something/anything to get rid of the aliens the overall message felt like it was - there's nothing anyone can ever do and when you do actually do something it won't amount to anything. I'm pretty sure that was the exact opposite of what the author was trying to convey based on a few paragraphs at the end, but truly that was the message that held through most of the book and the few paragraphs here and there that faintly gave a different message hardly amounted to a hill of beans against such overwhelming blah. Okay, I get that these few who have striven and passed on the desire to strive for something more will usher in something better moving forward from the end of the book, but hey, it's not like we get to see any of that - I'd much preferred to have actually seen humanity doing better.
Also, I didn't like any of the characters. Of course that might be because we hardly get to know any of them more than superficially and the family/clan just kept growing and growing, so more and more people would be mentioned which got pretty confusing.
So, I'm kinda sorry I wasted my time on this book and I wouldn't recommend reading it...
Very good, What you would expect from Silverberg