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Tribe Novels: Children Of Gaia And Uktena
Richard Lee Byers and Stefan Petrucha
White Wolf, 287 pages

Tribe Novels: Children Of Gaia And Uktena
Richard Lee Byers
Richard Lee Byers holds a master's degree in Psychology. He worked in an emergency psychiatric facility for over a decade, then left the mental health field to become a writer. He is the author of more than fifteen books including Forsaken (from White Wolf) and Dissolution (from Wizards of the Coast). He lives in the Tampa Bay area.

Richard Lee Byers Website
ISFDB Bibliography

Stefan Petrucha
Stefan Petrucha is perhaps best known for his work on the X-Files comic. His first comic work, Squalor (First Publishing) appeared in 1989, and in 1990 he created the first new-age super-heroes, Meta-4 (also from First), a satirical series which involved many of the paranormal phenomena he would later use in the X-Files comic series. In 1994, for Topps Comics, he wrote the comic version of the Duckman cartoon series on USA Network. In 1996, along with partner Steven Holtz, he formed Between the Lines Productions. Their first video project, Really Strange Stories of the Totally Unknown, a live action satire, was released in mid-1997. Petrucha currently lives in New York State with his wife, Sarah Kinney, and their two daughters.

ISFDB Bibliography
SF Site Review: Making God

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Lisa DuMond

If you are a Tribe gamer, chances are good that you already know all the lingo, the background, the ins-and-outs of the Garou who are apparently Earth's last line of defense against the evil that is just itching to take over. If, by some chance, you aren't familiar with the role-playing game, there is going to be a tremendous amount of information, and even over-information, thrown at you in very short order. Unless you have a gamer on-hand to answer your every question -- which will pop up about every page -- it's best just to go with it and hope understanding will creep up on you.

Richard Lee Byers' novel is the first out of the gate. Cries Havoc, the lorekeeper of the Red Talon clan, has lost his powerful memory in the heart of the world's upheavals in Serbia. Now, he and the rest of his clan must undertake an almost impossible journey to a sacred site for even a chance to restore his powers. Ranged against him are the dark forces of the Wyrm (the mention of that word alone has been enough to send me racing from some con suites...) and their forms are as varied and repulsive as the myriad human faces of evil.

But, the clan and the Tribe must overcome this darkness; they are the last defense between survival and chaos. Even if, at times, it seems the numbers of the Banes are endless and the wounds of the clan too much for even the Garous miraculous powers of healing to mend in time. Every moment is a race against time.

In Uktena, the sole survivor of a massacred clan is called to an audience with a local sept leader. What, exactly, she will have to answer for when she arrives, makes her more than a little reluctant to appear. To put off the inevitable, she and two companions set about their journey to the Lord's enclave by the most circuitous route possible, meeting up with dark forces at virtually every step along the way.

The danger, Amy Hundred-Voices reasons, is preferable to what might be awaiting her at her command appearance. And it's just possible she may figure out a few things about the massacre of her clan from what stalks her now.

For gamers, this double novel is no doubt a special treat to accompany their role-playing, but, for those of us who don't fall into that category, Children of Gaia and Uktena offer equal charms. True, the many forms and guises of the Tribe may become one unfocussed blur, but there is great pleasure in the characters themselves. The array of backgrounds that come together to form a clan is a constant surprise, and the Garou are quite capable of catching readers off guard as well. Certainly, no creature in the book commands such intense speculation as Chottle -- and I have no intention of telling you why.

So, give it a try. You know Byers' and Stefan Petrucha's work; you just might find that stepping into the middle of this battle of good-and-evil intrigues you. But, if it interests you enough to get involved in the role-playing aspect, please confine those Wyrm conversations to the gaming suites; keep it out of the Green Room, please.

Copyright © 2002 Lisa DuMond

In between reviews, articles, and interviews, Lisa DuMond writes science fiction and humour. DARKERS, her latest novel, was published in August 2000 by Hard Shell Word Factory. She has also written for BOOKPAGE and PUBLISHERS WEEKLY. Her articles and short stories are all over the map. You can check out Lisa and her work at her website hikeeba!.

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