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The Devil's Eye (An Alex Benedict Novel) Mass Market Paperback – October 27, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
McDevitt fills the fourth far-future Alex Benedict adventure (after 2005's Nebula-winning Seeker) with historical details and thrilling stunts as well as sharp political allegory. When famous horror writer Vicki Greene leaves antiquities dealer Alex a desperate message and then voluntarily has her memory erased, he and his pilot companion, Chase Kolpath, follow clues literally to the end of the galaxy, where Vicky had been researching her next novel. Official threats and a kidnapping reveal a planet-threatening catastrophe, covered up for years by hapless bureaucrats. As panic ensues and evacuation looks hopeless, the space opera turns into commentary on government reaction to emergencies and the values of openness. McDevitt balances the two sides of his story well, never losing sight of either the fast-paced action or the message behind it. (Nov.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"No one writing today is better than McDevitt at combining galaxy-spanning adventure with the genuine novel of ideas."
--"Washington Post Book World"
"Jack McDevitt is a master at describing otherworldly grandeur."
"Why read Jack McDevitt? The question should be: Who among us is such a slow pony that s/he isnat reading McDevitt?"
"You should definitely read Jack McDevitt."
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The Devil's Eye, which I recently finished in e-book, was another outstanding one. I began with Polaris and then its wonderful sequel Seeker, only to discover that I missed the first one A Talent for War. So I read and enjoyed it, too, before reading The Devil's Eye. Now it seems there will be a fifth one, Echo, this fall. Their world, in which there is so little crime the police are happy to get a new case, seems ideal. Their planet, Rimway, is in a galaxy far, far away, in the arm of Orion--my favorite constellation.
Not everyone gets to travel by starship like Alex and Chase do, but the opportunity is there. Just flitting about in gravity-free skimmers would be pleasant enough. (I do wish they'd figure out that someone is likely to tamper with theirs and plan accordingly.) Also having one's personal AI, linked to a galaxy-wide net to research anything by voice. But what I like most is the way McDevitt writes. Conversationally. I flow along with the story, happily ensconced in the moment, not entirely concerned about where events are going. Just enjoying the ride and hoping it never ends.
These novels are pure fun for me and the more I think about it, they are the type of stories that I enjoy writing. (In fact, my story, "Take One for the Road" coming out in Analog in 2011 is probably best-described as my attempt at a Jack McDevitt science fiction mystery.) Jack does an amazing job of taking a seemingly impossible event and pulling together a plausible explanation for it. In The Devil's Eye, the event is a memory wipe without explanation, and the results-well, I don't want to give anything away, but the story along the way has perhaps the biggest scope of any Alex Benedict novel so far.
The story involves political intrigue, travel to the far end of the galaxy, and grand cosmic events, all wrapped up into a tight mystery that keeps you reading to the very last page. The world that McDevitt paints in these novels is one that I wish actually existed. (The only other time I've felt this way is in Isaac Asimov's Foundation universe.) Alex and Chase are like old friends. One thing I particularly like about this series is that it is a series only in characters. While there is occasional mention of events from previous books, the books are only very loosely connected and the novels themselves stand as independent mysteries, almost like the Agatha Christie Hercule Poroit novels.
I thoroughly enjoyed The Devil's Eye and I highly recommend it. I've already started on the next Alex Benedict novel, Echo, released just last month.
mysteries. Alex and Chase are trying to find out what happened to a famous horror writer. The trail takes them into a really nasty
government coverup where abuse of power by the government goons is just the tip of the iceberg.
The book is well written and the story is a good, but the plot is predictable. I had the central mystery figured out long before
it was revealed in the book. But in a nice twist solving the mystery is not the end of the book as with most mystery novels.
Rather it serves to give rise to the second part of the story with a couple of reasonably good sub plots.
The science in the story is more than a little nutty, even aside from the standard sci-fi problem of zipping around at 30,000
times the speed of light. Having stars ejected from the galaxy is not all that uncommon, but having a habitable survive in a
stabile orbit is really pushing it. The blue giant star would be unlikely to form where it was and could not have survived
long enough to have gotten where it was had it been ejected. Gamma Ray Bursts don`t last 3 and a half days. A long one is 3 seconds,
and their sheilding solution would be unstabile and probably not very effective even if it could be built.
Still it`s a book worth reading. After all, having bad science in a sci-fi novel is more the rule than the exception.
Most recent customer reviews
Per the usual with McDevitt's Alex Benedict series, it does not disappoint.