Tom De Haven
September 27, 1996 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Ember From the Sun

Current Status
In Season
Mark Canter
Fiction, Sci-fi and Fantasy

We gave it a C

Dr. Yute Nahadeh, a Seattle-based professor of paleoanthropology, discovers a perfectly preserved Neanderthal woman — pregnant when she died — buried in glacial ice. He retrieves the viable embryo and implants it in a 15-year-old runaway. But shortly after the baby girl, called Ember, is born — 250 centuries after conception — the surrogate mother refuses to give her up, taking her to live in an isolated Alaskan village. Against all odds, Mark Canter manages to breathe life into this preposterous premise, investing Ember with a credible, appealing strangeness. Everybody else in the story, though, seems bland, flimsy, and stock, and the pacing throughout is herky-jerky. Ember from the Sun‘s plucked straight from the pulp fantasies of Edgar Rice Burroughs. C

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