Print This Post Print This Post

Or Kane. Or Cain. The primordial killer, Caine is back. If you think Howard is grim, Wagner is dark, Adam Colby (whoever the heck that is) is bleak, try Stover, and especially Caine, the reality show for people who can’t stand reality.

Actually, this book has been out since last October, but with all the Howard coming out I haven’t been able to keep up with my other favorites so well as I’d like. Stover has been wasting his time and talent with Star Wars novels so much lately, this one kind of snuck up on me.

The Caine books are that rarity that tries to put science fiction and fantasy into the same story and actually doesn’t come off as lame.

Here’s a passage from Heroes Die that explains why I think the character might be partly inspired by Wagner’s Kane:

Through his night of study, his astonishment had only grown. Caine had been everywhere, had done everything; he had an unsettling tendency to abruptly appear in the middle of important events with little or no explanation of why he was there or even how he’s made the journey. In between these battles and assassinations and adventures so incredible that Toa-Sydtell dismissed them as fantasy, he didn’t seem to be anywhere at all. He had no fixed home; there were no records of him spending any significant amount of time at any Monastery after he’d completed his novitiate and left [..]

Caine was like some force of nature, some wind or storm that would blast the land for miles about, then vanish again. No one knew where he came from, no one knew where he went: his only tracks were the indelible scars he left on the lives that he touched.

And Caine was more than this, more than a mere elemental power [. . .] Caine was like a griffin or a dragon, a supremely dangerous animal that could be befriended but never tamed. At any moment his thin veneer of humanity could burst to reveal howling destruction within. . .