... an excellent addition to the series. The novel is filled with captivating characters.... reading the first two books in the series is highly recommended, as they are both great, and will provide useful background to help understand and get into The Alien Effect quicker.
There’s a lot in Cary Neeper’s Archives of Varok novels. They are by turns wondrous, wise, witty, tense and gripping—all in service of a heartfelt environmental polemic. The story they tell is a fresh variation on the age-old science fiction theme of alien first contact.
. . . its core themes about human efforts to achieve sustainability will resonate with readers of all ages and backgrounds. . . . Highly recommended, as is author Cary Neeper's first book in the series, A Place Beyond Man.
—Midwest Book Review: Children's Bookwatch, June 2013,
on the Fantasy/SciFi Shelf
When Cary Neeper first published excerpts of her novel The Webs of Varok on Resilience.org, one commenter dismissed the work as being “merely a polemic pretending to be a novel.” Only the first charge is correct. The book clearly is an impassioned polemic against the extravagance and destructiveness of industrial society. . . it is an involving, well-plotted story that does justice to both the hard science underpinning its interplanetary settings and the long evolutionary perspectives typical of the old scientific romances (those of H.G. Wells, Jules Verne and Arthur C. Clarke).
The version of A Place Beyond Man reviewed here is an Author's Guild Backinprint.com Edition that came out in June 2011, the original having long since gone out of print. And what a worthy revival it is, in both its continued timeliness and its intelligent, believable rendering of alien values and cultures.