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Seeker Mass Market Paperback – October 31, 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Ideas abound in McDevitt's classy riff on the familiar lost-space-colony theme. In 2688, interstellar transports Seeker and Bremerhaven left a theocratic Orwellian Earth to found a dictator-free society, Margolia—and vanished. Nine thousand years later, with a flawed humanity spread over 100-odd worlds, Margolia and its ships have become Atlantis-type myths, but after a cup from Seeker falls into the hands of antiquarian Alex Benedict, the hero of McDevitt's Polaris (2004), Alex determines to win everlasting fame and vaster fortune by finding them. Female pilot Chase Kolpath, this book's narrator, gutsily tracks the ancient Seeker on a breathless trek across star systems and through an intriguing mystery plot, a bevy of fully realized characters, ingenious AI ships and avatars of long-departed personalities who offer advice and entertainment. The scientific interpolations are as convincing as the far-future planetscapes and human and alien societies, bolstering an irresistible tractor beam of heavy-duty action. This novel delivers everything it promises—with a galactic wallop.
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.
McDevitt's latest gripping novel of future history begins in the late twentieth century, when a technological breakthrough costs the lives of its discoverers. Then it jumps seven centuries forward, to the beginning of interstellar flight and some of the first refugees from Earth. Finally, it moves into the very far future and to the seeker of the title, one of several looking for inhabited worlds that are the results, however longterm, of events recorded earlier. McDevitt is now being compared, quite legitimately, to Arthur C. Clarke, and not only because he has a similar kind of grand vision of the human future among the stars. He also has characters with amiable, or not-so-amiable, quirks, who in the middle of deciphering the secrets of lost races take time to worry about where to get a good meal in the next town. One of these days McDevitt is going to receive an actual and well-deserved big award to go with his professional stature. Roland Green
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
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For me, Seeker has set a high bar for the rest of the series -- and, as I read reviews of the later entries, I'm anxious they won't live up to this excellent story.
Morning Star, Seeker and Wildman change throughout the book and their personalities grow, making you grow along too.
It is also better than Nicholson's other fantasy series, The Wind On Fire, although it was also amazing.
As these things have a way of doing, history gives way to myth, so it is with great incredulity that antiquarians and auctioneers Alex Benedict and Chase Kolpath find themselves in possession of a 9000-year-old cup with Seeker markings on it. They set off to find the Seeker, and if possible the colony they founded. Some people don't believe it really exists. Some people hope to beat them to the discovery. Some people don't like their methods and try to sabotage their efforts. Through it all, plucky Chase and dogged Alex piece together the puzzle and work towards the biggest discovery of all time.
To place a story 10000 years in the future is risky - will we even be recognizable as humans? Will we have developed technology that is, to our eyes, "indistinguishable from magic"? (Arthur C. Clarke's term) McDevitt wisely, I think, keeps the technology subdued, and assumes that basic human nature doesn't change that much (and to emphasize that, his intelligent aliens are also very "human"). We can then settle in and enjoy the story, which is very well written and has a number of genuine edge-of-the-seat moments to keep you coming back for more. It is no wonder that this is an award-winning novel: and as "hard" science fiction combined with mystery-suspense, it recalls the glory days of Isaac Asimov.
The book is not perfect. Some of the suspense is over-simplified; for example, after multiple attempts on their lives, the characters still seem surprised when there's yet another attempt (also, the law of conservation of characters comes into play - when a new character is introduced on p. 300, you know he's an assassin by what he says, but the heroes seem willfully naive). The ending seems a bit drawn-out and artificially positive - I could have done without the last 75 pages or so. (It's still very interesting and well-written, but the plot itself seems contrived). But these are relatively minor, and I thoroughly enjoyed this book.