The final novel in D. F. Jones’s “Colossus Trilogy” picks up where the last one left off, with Charles Forbin – the creator of Colossus, the supercomputer that took over the world five years before – and his assistant Edward Blake awaiting the arrival of the Martians who provided them with the means of shutting down the computer. When they appear, they soon reveal that the aid they supplied was to remove the one obstacle to their plan, which is to re-oxygenate Mars by taking half of the Earth’s atmosphere. Facing the devastation of the planet and the deaths of millions, Forbin and Blake are forced to undertake a plan that is Earth’s only hope of defeating the Martians – the reactivation of Colossus.
Having described the computer-run future he created in his last novel, The Fall of Colossus, in this one Jones concentrates on the plot and his antagonists. The Martians he describes are well imagined by the author, and many of the best parts of the novel center around their interaction with Forbin and his efforts to comprehend them. In many ways they are better realized than most of the humans, as some of the secondary characters are little better than ethnic stereotypes. The challenge the aliens pose is also well developed, providing an impending threat that Jones conveys well with effective visualization and pacing. In all it provides for a satisfying end for an occasionally overshadowed, yet enjoyably entertaining series.