The final novel of Christopher Hinz's Paratwa saga crashes through your front door like the assassins of its title, kicking ass and taking names. Through plot twists that give new meaning to the word "labyrinthine," Hinz continues his no-hold-barred assault on his readers' senses and expectations. Even towards the end of the novel, where the narrative becomes just a bit too expository in its tying up of loose ends, your investment in the story is by this time so complete that you're still floored by the relentlessness of one revelation after another.
Picking up immediately where the second novel left off, we soon learn (and what a tightrope I'm having to walk in not revealing too many spoilers) that the Paratwa are returning to Earth, not in the original starships that left hundreds of years previously, but in a massive, 2100-mile-long alien craft called the Biodyysey (yes, that's how Hinz spells it). The invasion plans of the Ash Ock have been so precisely machinated with so many red herrings to throw humanity's attention away from the real agenda, that saving the human race means that all bets are off. Nick, the garrulous midget from the 21st century (that's kind of funny-sounding, but roll with it) known to the Paratwa as the Czar, their greatest adversary, uncovers a program buried deep in the computer archives that reveals the Ash Ock's intentions, and he and the Lion of Alexander come to the difficult conclusion that a terrible sacrifice must be made to defeat these killers once and for all.
Gillian, the renegade Paratwa who is slowly crumbling mentally from the lack of a tway, learns his own true identity from an Ash Ock traitor who has hidden out on the ravaged Earth for centuries, and who provides Gillian with a new tway, a young woman genetically altered while still a fetus to fill the bill. Now Gillian must decide what role to play in the ultimate confrontation — that is, if his will is his own anymore.
Hmm, let's see. That about covers it as far as any sort of a plot synopsis I can give without blowing the whole thing out of the water for new readers. Truth to tell it is far more elaborate and detailed than what I have attempted to describe. That complexity is what makes the Paratwa Saga such rousing entertainment, and what notches it so far above the merest rockem-sockem action-genre schlock. Christopher Hinz has proven himself to be a top drawer practitioner of adrenalizing action SF, a professional in consummate control of his art. All of which makes it a tremendous bummer that after this trilogy he appears to have dropped off the face of the earth — though a little Googling reveals he's done some comics work and is supposedly prepping a new SF novel.