The Lamb Among the Stars Trilogy is: The Shadow and the Night The Dark Foundations The Infinite Day by Chris Walley The Best Christian Science-Fiction Ever! I would suppose in my 50+ years I've read 3,000 novels. I like thrillers, mysteries, and science fiction. This is flat out the best Christian themed science fiction story I've ever read. If you've read this genre you know that most stories are either cliched rapture stories, or are poorly written, or have stock characters, or have poorly thought out science. The Lamb Among the Stars trilogy excels on every level. This story is better than the C.S. Lewis Space Trilogy. Better than The Christ Clone Trilogy. There really is nothing in the Christian genre that is comparable to this story, and really nothing in the secular arena as well. The closest comparison as far as an epic story taking place on a galactic level involving high technology, an alternative society, characters you truly care about, and thorny ethical and moral dilemmas, would be the Dune stories. I would say forget about categorizing it as the best Christian sci-fi I've ever read, it's one of the best sci-fi stories I've ever read. This review deals with the first book in the trilogy, The Shadow and the Night. From the book's jacket cover: It is the year of our Lord 13851. A trillion people live under the gentle rule of the Assembly on over a thousand Made Worlds. Peace and stability have reigned for nearly 12,000 years. War and evil are merely ancient history. But all that is about to change. On Farholme--a Made World at the edge of the Assembly--strange and troubling things are happening. Slowly, incredulously, a handful of people come to recognize the unthinkable: Evil has returned once more, and it must be fought. Chris Walley writes with sophistication, detail, and beauty. I can visualize Farholme's forests, oceans, wastelands, and cities. If I have any criticism it would be that at times the description of local settings might be a couple of sentences too much, but it's not off-putting. In fact, when it comes to describing the evil that infects the planet, the skillful descriptive writing is a strong asset. Also, there are maps at the front of the book which I found helpful. Travel between solar systems is accomplished through gate technology connected to wormholes that travel through Below Space. This is not a new concept to sci-fi but Walley puts a few twists on it to make it fresh. Likewise with the terra-forming of planets to make them habitable for humans. Everything in the environment is planned, maintained, cataloged, and adjusted. These are Made Worlds fit for human life. Most of the people have specific jobs related to tweaking the environment. Walley, who has a PhD in geology, does a great job describing the terra-forming process and necessary adjustments to Farholme. As for other technologies, characters use personal diaries, which seem to be a supercharged version of tablets that people are using nowadays. They are communication devices, cameras, word processors, navigation aids, etc., actually quite prescient of Walley (book was written in 2001). There are personal ground transports, either car-like devices or trains, shuttle crafts, interplanetary ships, and even horses are used. The technology is not obtrusive, not overly described or prominent to the story, just useful devices. There are rules and laws for the usage of technology, which naturally are broken by the evil doers, and lead to an ethical dilemma for others. Walley's society seems to mirror the early New Testament church, in that everybody shares things, no one is in need, people help each other. There are no rich nor poor, so no economic classes. It's not socialism, but I suppose that would come closest to describe it. For example, people use transportation but there is no mention of a fare, or buying tickets. Getting a replacement personal diary is not a purchase, it is issued to people. People have jobs and receive pay, called an allotment, and while there is some difference in pay grades, there is not a huge difference. In fact, one of the clues that evil had returned to Farholme was the request by some oceanographers that they get a pay raise. Another indicator was that some people were requesting a lawyer to resolve property disputes. I found this very interesting, and in context, almost humorous. Lawyers being in indication of evil, indeed! More: Women were reporting having pain in childbirth, and some women were giving birth eight months or less after having married. The characters are developed well and have conflicts, ambitions, and vulnerabilities. These characters grow and change to meet the challenges they face. The main character, Merral Stefan D'avanos, age 26, is a reluctant hero, somewhat in the mold of Paul Atreides of Dune, in that everyone expects him to step up and be a leader, but he isn't sure he's capable, nor does he want the job. Verofazza Laertes Enand (Vero to friends) is a Sentinel sent to Farholme from Ancient Earth. Generations of Sentinels have lived fairly boring lives over the past 12,000 years, been pretty much useless, up to now. Vero is highly analytical, a planner who moves cautiously.The sisters Anya and Perena Lewitz are interesting, strong characters, and seem to be destined for a romantic involvement with Merral and Vero. I say "seemed to be destined" because in Farholme society most marriages are arranged and Merral has a potential mate already lined up. A major theme in the book is the problem with knowing what sinning is after living in a sin free world for thousands of years. Examples: What is jealousy? If a 26 year old wants to do something his parents would oppose, is it a sin? What is temptation? How does one recognize it? Ethical problems: Is it OK to use force against evil? Is it the best way to confront and defeat evil? Why is secrecy necessary after 12,000 years of open society? What is a lie? What is merely stretching the truth? You think you know the answers but when you get immersed in Farholme and Assembly society, in the context of universal peace and harmony, the answers are not easy. Another theme in the book involves the unethical use of cloning (again not a new concept in sci-fi, but Walley bends it to fit the needs of the plot quite nicely.) As to the theology of the book, yes, the characters are Christians. However, they don't wear their beliefs on their sleeves, they simply live with their faith integrated into their lives. For unbelievers I would guess it's not overbearing. In fact, I was surprised to see a five star review given by an admitted atheist on Amazon. This is NOT a pre-trib, pre-millennial story. There is no rapture (the Great Intervention of 2052 where God changed the world is intriguing, as is the put down of the Great Rebellion in 2112, though neither are fully described, at least in the first book of the trilogy.) The eschatology in this story is definitely postmillennial. I would say the seeding of planets, terra-forming, then occupation by Christians is Jesus' Great Commission taken to the fullest! There are a couple of things I found fault with. I've already mentioned the sometimes overly descriptive prose. The other is the usage of meetings by the author where characters discuss what they should do next. This is a useful device to summarize the plot and remind the reader where the story has been and where it is going, but I found there were too many of these. For example, Vero and Merral will meet and discuss something, then two pages later Vero and Merral will meet with government leaders and have basically the same discussion. This is only a minor distraction though, and I had to come up with something negative to make this a balanced review, but really, that's all I could come up with. Another thing--I noticed other reviewers thought the story started out slowly and I remember having that same thought the first time I read the books. However, this time through I didn't think that at all. (I remember the same thing the first and second time I read "Dune".) I really want to tell more, dying to tell, because I loved this story, but that would be spoiling it. I will say that I read this trilogy years ago, and I'm back into it again, it's that good. When I learned the nature of the evil unleashed on Farholme it really creeped me out. The conflict with it and the necessary response to it is where the book really takes off. The final confrontation with the revealed evil at the end of the first book literally send shivers up and down my spine. If you like science fiction you need to read these books! If you thought the Left Behind books were good (and I quit after the fourth book), well it's time you graduate to some really good plotting and writing. If you have Amazon Prime and a Amazon Kindle device you can read it for free. Otherwise you can buy on Amazon and read it on your Kindle App. Or check your library. I just finished reading The Shadow and Night by borrowing the book from my library, I bought the second book, Dark Foundations used on Amazon for $3.99 (free shipping), as my library didn't have it, and I'll either buy The Infinite Day used on Amazon or else check my library for it. The Best Christian Science-Fiction Ever! Read it!