2018-08-27 01:09:01 UTC
The mention of McDevitt's novel The Hercules Text had me checking the
library's e-books to see if they had it. They didn't, but they did have
the first book in the Alex Benedict/Chase Kolpath series, A Talent for
War. I had missed that previously.
McDevitt's far-future books sometimes get a ribbing for being a little
too familiar. Even though 9000 years in our future, with humanity
spread over a number of systems, things like they'd be pretty
comfortable for most current US citizens. We'd probably more at home in
one of those cities than modern-day New Delhi.
This book begins with the disappearance of a passenger ship, the
Capella, that never came out of instellar jump, an event that happens
on occasion. On that is Alex's uncle Gabe, an archeologist. This is an
important plot point in later books.
When Alex became a dealer in artifacts, he and Gab became estranged.
Despite that, Alex finds himself the sole heir to Gabe's estate. Alex
becomes obsessed with finding out what the mysterious mission that Gabe
was setting out on.
I enjoy these kind of stories, so in spite of the flaws in the books I
have liked the Alex/Chase books quite a bit.
At any rate, it's interesting for me to read this as a prequel (even
though not of course). The initial meeting of Alex and Chase wasa bit
contentious. She was unimpressed by him and is mainly looking to get
paid for the work she's performed for Gabe. This helps set off Alex's
quest. Gabe was a pilot himself, so why did hire Chase and where were
they going that he needed a pilot. She doesn't know.
Compared to later books, this one has been somewhat moody and
philosophical. There's a lot about the war with the "Mutes" (as
telepaths, they have no spoken language), the only other intelligent
species around. I expect the action to pick up.