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The Doors of Death and Life

[How Like a God] The Doors of Death and Life
by Brenda W. Clough
Published by Tor Books, 2000
Amazon.com: hardcover, paperback
Amazon.ca: hardcover, paperback
Amazon.co.uk: hardcover, paperback
Recommended by: Greg Slade

This is a sequel to Clough's How Like a God. In it, regular guy Rob Lewis gains the power to read and control other people's minds, and also gains the power of immortality. When his friend Edwin Barbarossa is at death's door after a climactic battle, Rob gives him the power of immortality to save his life.

In this book, Edwin, who is in line for a manned mission to Mars, survives an accident in space which kills all of his companions, raising suspicions about how he managed to survive. Did he kill the other astronauts to steal their air? Eventually, Edwin's secret comes out, and a storm breaks over his head. Some people want to gain the secret of Edwin's immortality, no matter what the cost. Rob, whose whole survival strategy has consisted of keeping his head down and keeping his powers on a tight leash, is faced with a dilemma: how can he help his friend, without bringing down an even more intense storm of publicity upon his own head?

It's traditional for follow-ups to successful books (or movies, for that matter) to be less powerful than the original. This is one of those happy examples where that is not the case. The tension is ratcheted up, but the characters are actually more realistic. Clearly, Clough is an author whose work I am going to have to follow diligently. – Greg Slade

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