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    THE LONG TWILIGHT by Keith Laumer

    Berkley, 1969

    For hundreds of years, Grayle and Falconer have battled across Earth. Their conflict has created myth (Falconer is also knows as Loki, Grayle as Thor) but has been largely personal until now. With the perfecting of broadcast power, Falconer finally has the power to accomplish the mission he set off to do thousands of years before--although it means the destruction of the earth. When Grayle feels the renewal of his energies, he knows that the time has come for the final conflict--not between good and evil, but between life and destruction. Already an inexplicable hurricane rages in the Atlantic--a storm that will continue to grow unless Grayle can discover some means of stopping it.

    Aided by the power of their ship, the two men are essentially supermen, yet they have the same moral and mental limits of any human. Grayle is a traitor to his cause, setting the lives of millions on Earth ahead of his duty to his warring people. Falconer knows that the greater cause may require sacrifices, even horrible sacrifices, but failing to do so will result in even more serious destruction. And they are not alone. Now tht it is powered, their ship can play an active role and spoil all of their plans.

    THE LONG TWILIGHT was written in the height of Keith Laumer's career (see more reviews by this author) and represents a more serious novel than his well-known Retief stories. Although Grayle and Falconer are, in some respects, supermen, they are also convincing characters faced with moral dilemmas that would tear lesser men apart. In battling one another, they learn the truth about who they really are. Laumer weaves in purely human secondary characters that, through their relationships with the protagonists, allow us to see both their positive and negative sides. Because John Zabisky and Anne Rogers care about them, we care as well. The novel is tightly crafted and written with a compelling style that draws the reader back for second and third reads.

    Four Stars

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