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Masterminds: A Retrieval Artist Novel: Book Eight of the Anniversary Day Saga Kindle Edition
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|Length: 384 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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First, this isn't just a review of this book, Masterminds. It is more a reaction to the Anniversary Day series, the last six of which have appeared in the last six months.
I've been reading the Retrieval Artist series from the beginning (although I can't really pin it down to the actual start date.) I like the concept and I think it has addressed some interesting issues in interspecies relations from the get go.
And partially, I'm reacting to the style of this presentation - that six books were published in six months. I bought the ebooks, and I don't regret it (I want to support authors I like) but I felt pressure ... of the top of my head I can't think of another author who at this time I would buy this many books from so quickly - so OK, for now, but I really hope this isn't a harbinger for the future of publishing. I assume it was an experiment, and I don't know how it turned out, but I think the circumstances were pretty unique.
OK, for this series -- this book did resolve the overall situation.
While I will concede that there is some justification for the scope of this situation, and even, now that I've read it all, the overriding motivation, the complexity of the series is an issue --
The overall complexity of the "Plan" of the Masterminds is daunting. THe author obviously spent a lot of effort supporting the story of the "attack" (in stages) on the Moon. There is a tradeoff here -- the "plan" has been in the works for decades, and somehow the separate stages are defeated by our "Heroes" in a short span of time. The first, second and even third times this happened it was -- acceptable. This last time it seemed to stretch the balloon just a bit much.. The exactitude of the "bad guys" - that the Peyti Clones knew the date they would die decades ahead (and apparently, that they all had the same date even though they were raised decades apart. (ed. to remove reference to a major error I made. apologies to Ms. Rusch - - Peyti clones did not attack on AD although their strike appeared linked to all the fallout from Ann Day - so not clear. So my position is weakened. )
Ultimately, there were too many moving parts in the plan. Even with the infinite resources (which were established quite convincingly) for the Masterminds.
I like the book. I'm beginning the reread (and HINT, pay attention at the beginning of this book - it'll pay off later) - I like the series and I like the universe, I'm just not entirely convinced that it needed quite this many books to get to the conclusion. But they were all good reads.
I don't see this model of publishing fitting well into a universe of used book stores and/or libraries. So possibly this is the future - I'm just not sure I'm going to like it.
Edit - Oct 2016 - FWIW - one of my local libraries (Fairfax Cty, VA) does have at least three of this sub-series in paperback. I believe that means they will have more.
However, some items were left hanging (such as the legal defense of the Peyti clones and the arrest of the bad cops), so some effects of the attacks and the conspiracy will linger (hopefully) into future books.
Rusch did an amazing job of putting out last five of the "Anniversary" books on a monthly basis earlier this year, making it easier to follow the convoluted paths and story lines she set up. She introduces each book with a short forward explaining how and why she did it this way. I'm looking forward to the next book in this universe.
As an installment, I liked the book very much. Down-to-the-wire suspense is difficult to do well, and Rusch does it well, in general and here. Multiple character threads come together, and as we learn more about some characters who earlier appeared peripheral, we in some cases will like them more as well.
As a culmination of this saga-within-a-series, I find the book not quite as successful -- though I hope and guess that some of the many loose threads will be addressed in future Retrieval Artist books, even though Rusch characterizes those coming books as "stand alone" novels. Of those threads that Rusch seems to mean to resolve to some extent, I find the treatment of the "masterminds" disappointingly cursory. The revealed motivation itself, to the extent (not clear) that it applies to most or all of the conspirators, is not implausible (and in fact I'd thought of it as a possibility), but as Rusch handles it, it doesn't quite work as an adequate explanation of the conspiracy as a whole.
All that notwithstanding, I found the way the book pulls threads together somewhat satisfying, despite the issues I've identified.