By Philip Jose Farmer, Tor, $15.00, 349 pages

10Sometimes you really need to question the need for an epilogue. Gods of Riverworld looks at what happens to the survivors of the Riverwold series, and what they end up doing. It starts off as a murder mystery, with the death of Loga, the last Ethical, and then basically just follows the characters around for most of the book. It ends with the plan of the remaining renegades to deal with their benefactors.

You really want to see something happen, but there is an issue when death is merely an inconvenience. Although this was dealt with nicely in the main series, the number of solutions to this problem in this book gets annoying. The sheer amount of backstory on the characters in this book also slows things down; we know these characters by now, and telling us who they were is a waste of good verbage. Worse, the philosophy is pointless yet involved; it just doesn’t add anything but confusion. Farmer is usually pretty good, but this is one book that seemingly was just written to give the series a traditional ending, and it falls flat. This volume is for completists only.

Reviewed by Jamais Jochim