From Library Journal
Fleeing the mech civilization that has decimated the human population of the planet Snowglade, Cap'n Killeen leads Family Bishop to a distant world only to become embroiled in another human-alien conflict in which the sides are not so neatly drawn. This sequel to Great Sky River continues the adventures of a courageous group of survivors. Quick pacing and startling imagery produce a welcome mixture of action and speculation. Recommended.
Benford's aliens are aliens in mind as well as physique and no reader can fathom their true nature. Benford's humans are hunter-gathers, appropriating technologies and materials they can not create themselves. William Tenn's description of humans as " rats in the walls" is carried to an extreme in "Tides of Light". Family Bishop merely dodges incomprehensible aliens and forces before fortune steers them to the next instalment. Benford has made an elegiac vision of the future, incorporating grandeur like Arthur C Clarke in "The City and The Stars" with a mysterious plot. The aliens are ALIEN and the humans are so different in physical nature amd cultural millieu as to be almost unbelievable. Strongly recommended.
Set against the magnificent, furious back drop of the Galactic Center, here is a drama as compelling as the towering Great Sky River. A small human band flees from a threat it cannot hope to match -- enormously superior artificial minds embodied in great insectlike machines. This last remnant of humanity is led by Killeen, a man elevated to command in desperate times by his luck and daring. He manages to reach a new planet where he encounters vast wonders - a planet-coring cosmic string, an organic life-form the size of an entire world, another group of humans led by a strange messianic ruler -- and even greater dangers from the most awesome beings they have yet to face.
Their battle for survival reaches overwhelming dimensions. But they will gain an unexpected ally. And they will contribute shockingly to the new order of life that is developing around them. TIDES OF LIGHT An enormous, masterful invention of hard science fiction. Tides of Ligt exhibits Gregory Benford at his brilliant best.