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on February 13, 2013
This series has an interesting twist on the innocent going relic hunting, and if you like the idea of a female hunter it is good. The ending of all the books in the series is a bit abrupt/cliff hanger in nature. The author also spends a huge amount of time detailing training scenarios which left me feeling fairly bored.
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on May 1, 2015
I quickly read the third book in the series after the secod, and as a short version of this review, I immediately bought the fourth.

The author continues to give a good story, this one introducing more details on the Trilisk, but also new aliens (or not so new, interesting twist at the end).

I found this one to follow a similar pace, and had similar strengths and weaknesses to the second. It's an engaging, easy to read story, with the broken up viewpoints well structured to enhance your view of the action rather than distract it or artificially build suspense. The temporal overlap between different viewpoints is well laid out without being tediously explained.

Once again the author gives an interesting conclusion, well prepared to move into the next book, though this time a bit more of a cliff hanger, leaving bigger issues unresolved. Personally I'm not a fan of that between series books, though having the next available already makes it more palatable. Once again the author feels in something of a downhill race in the last 10% of the book, giving something of short shrift to the climax and resolution -- it's not that it is badly done, it is just after spending time to get that far, you want to savor it a bit more; if he would flesh it out it would be better.

I also applaud the author for, while using the "industrial seed" cheat more or less between books, it was not a big part of this book. Once more much of the action was, while high tech in many ways, still human against elements and circumstance and other humans and aliens. The introduction of the new/old alien threat as the new story line, rather than immediately developing some ancient earth Trilisk scenario a la Stargate was a good thing.

Key to me it is it engaging, and makes you want to turn pages fast and move to the next book. Worth a read (but get the earlier two first, not a good read on its own).
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on December 29, 2012
Another good read from McCloskey; he really does aliens very well. I particularly liked reading the aliens' internal thoughts, they're just very different from us with strange motivations and cultural drives. They're not just some sentient creatures, they're intelligent, but driven differently. I like that the main characters are nowhere near as safe as they think they are when trusting them - it's very well done.
I also like some of the style of writing, where different individuals drive the different chapters or parts, but with overlapping descriptions of events or time periods It can be really interesting just working out whether parts are overlapping at all, and whether the events are similar, but when things do match up, you get the benefit of different points of view subtly changing your understanding of what is going on.
While the story, tech, ideas and aliens are all really good, again its only the characters that are bit soft, but not in an annoying way. Actually, Cilrith wasn't bad, and the aliens were cool, but perhaps needed more from Magnus and Telisa. More Telisa really :_)
The tech and ideas were really good though, and I particularly liked the reveal of just what Trilisk Supersedure was referring to, right at the end. Excellent. I'll read more for sure.

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on November 26, 2013
When I started to read this book I did not have my hopes set very high since the previous two books have been rather weak. Since I have read the first two I felt that I wanted to read this one as well though. I really do not like to drop a book series once I have started it.

May main issue with this book as well as with the previous ones are the totally amateurish manner in which these people go messing around with things they do not understand. They are using advanced alien artefacts, including advanced weaponry, which they have only half unlocked. Their approach to investigating alien ruins and artefacts are more or less by poking a stick at it and see if something happens. There is not a shred of scientific reasoning or attempt at explanation for anything they find or use whether it is alien equipment or “ordinary” terran equipment.

This amateurish behavior is repeated in pretty much everything. The way these people go about most of their activities is simply frustratingly unscientific and illogical. The alien, “Shiny” would normally have been an interesting element of the story but when already being somewhat negative about how the human characters behave his obnoxious behaviour and pondering about whether he shall switch to “competitive mode” or not is just annoying.

If you can get over the nonsensical science and general behaviour of the characters you will probably find this a good book. I am afraid that I found it quite “meh”. I will probably read the next one in the series but this will be more out of stubbornness as well as wanting to see where the overall story arc goes.
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on December 31, 2012
When we left our adventurous trio (Telisa, Magnus, and Shiny) at the end of The The Trilisk AI, they had retrieved an artifact of incredible power from Shiny's home world - an artifact that has enabled the team to refit and resupply with potent new equipment. Searching for more items of Trilisk origin, the trio travel to a planet that was once a Trilisk outpost. They aren't first to arrive and there may be something lurking in the ruins that even Shiny's advanced technology may not be sufficient to counter. While Magnus uses his new toys to scout the ruins, Telisa gives new meaning to the phrase 'going native.' Unbeknownst to them, remnants of an internal human conflict are on the planet seeking technology that will allow them to reclaim the initiative. But will either group survive contact with a species long thought extinct?

This, the third book in the Parker Interstellar Travels series, brings the combined Human/Vovokan group to a planet on the frontier of human explored space. While Shiny remains in orbit, the human contingent land on the surface and begin their exploration. Magnus' affection for the scout bot in Trilisk AI results in his fielding a battalion of robotic minions. With this small army of robotic protectors leading the way, Magnus, Telisa and their new field recruit, Cilreth, begin to explore the Konuan ruins and the Trilisk base hidden underneath.

Hidden nearby are a group of very well armed humans that are seeking Trilisk artifacts not for knowledge or simple profit but as a potential source of new technology to aid them in their conflict with the UNSF. Despite being seasoned veterans of war, this group is being hunted by something that seems to be protecting or guarding the artifact dig site. Picked off one by one, the rebels are racing against the clock to find something that will turn the tide of their war while there are still enough of them left to wage it. For one of the rebels, this battle of wills is personal and the defeat of their tormentor is a goal that she vows to accomplish, even in death.

Inevitably, all three groups collide and the resulting chaos creates a situation ripe for the escape of an entity that may threaten the future of humanity.

In The Trilisk Ruins, we were introduced to Magnus and Telisa and, later, to the Vovokan alien Shiny/Kirizzo. The book did a great job establishing the primary characters and fleshing out the setting that the novel and subsequent sequels would take place in. In The Trilisk AI, we learned a great deal more about the Vovokans in general and Shiny in particular. We also learned that as advanced as Vovokan techonology was compared to Earth's technology, Trilisk technology was so advanced compared to both that it might as well be magic.

In Supersedure, we finally meet the Trilisk race and they're even more alien than Shiny. While not as profoundly different physiologically as the Spiners were in Ingenious, the Trilisk have a fundamentally different world view that does not bode well for the races they encounter. Less "ET phone home" and more "ET conquer your planet and call it home." The Trilisk also have a unique mental ability that means identifying them, much less containing them, is going to be a very difficult task.

There are a few plotting issues with the book (see the comment section for spoilerific details) but Supersedure does what it needs to do - get our trio back in action and widen/deepen the mystery surrounding just what the Trilisk were and what were/are they after?

Although this wasn't quite as good a read overall as The Trilisk AI (which, in turn, wasn't quite as good as The Trilisk Ruins), will I buy the next book in the series? Yes, because McCloskey is a talented writer and I like his style. Even a less-than five star novel like this one is better than most best efforts by other authors. Like Ingenious, the incredible finale after the unnecessary Industrious, the next PIT book could knock it out of the park.
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on September 17, 2014
This is a bit weaker than the previous books, mostly because we're rapidly approaching a "limitless" problem where the heroes have so much more than anyone else, That most of the problems will have to be a bit contrived. Shiny is still here and still the star though. :)
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on December 27, 2012
We now have to encourage this author to keep writing. I really enjoyed the story over the first three books and have got to know the characters. Each has it's own perspective and it's great seeing the world through the separate eyes. My love of Speculative Fiction has always bee the "what if?" and the exploration of what effect a given technology will have on a society. This story has that element mixed with action and problem solving. Could the editing be better, yep (and my complaint would be the kettle calling the pot black). But a good read,yep (keep me up until 3 am). Why the 4 and not the 5 stars. It has to do with the ending of the third book, so I can't spoil it for you. I strongly suspect that it would be 5 stars if the fourth book was already out. Keep writing. I, for one, will be tagging this author and continuing to read this series...
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on January 17, 2013
Begin with one R2D2 Size Gold Shiny creature. Then Have it talk in Riddles by making vibrations in the wood work. Then every time you run into new people kill Most of them and then recruit the rest to work for you. Hey seems to work and who knows how this could turn out in the long run. I do wish for one thing. I would like to know how long till the next book comes out. Either that or I am going to talk Magnus into TAGing the next Space ship of Shiny. Come on MM help us out throw us some crumbs. US loyal readers thanks

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on February 2, 2013
Michael McCloskey has me totally invested in this series. Everything explained in a way that could become predictable but never does. The story twists and turns in a well explained and logical way yet surprises abound. A deep look into relationships with known human values intermingling with the unknown personalities of aliens had me wondering when I would be having them around to dinner.

I have to remind myself this is a fictional construct yet the author paints such realistic potentials and reactions it became totally embedded in this reader's consciousness. The detailed descriptions of motivational reality surrounded by a narrative of mind blowing discoveries is addictive. This is an opera that should never end.

Suspension of disbelief is demanded by the writer's ability to make the most unbelievable situations believable. The pace at times could be criticized but not by me. This is exactly what I want to read and hope number 4 is in the works. A masterclass of contemporary science fiction that has earned my first 5 star review. I have purchased the first book of the Synchronicity series without bothering to read the reviews. Recommended to the reader that needs a certain critical mass of explanation and wonder to really immerse oneself in a very good read.
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on December 15, 2013
not a good book. A massive deus ex machina, the beginnings of a good philosophical discussion on cloning, only to be preempted by clone on clone love, and so on. This author has interesting ideas but had trouble executing on this one. It would be good to see him return to some of his previous levels of effort. Barely two stars for effort.
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