©2004 Jack McDevitt; (P)2008 Audible, Inc.
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"Entertaining ear candy"
I've listened to all the Chase Kolpath/Alex Benedict novels. I like the point of view and the character buildout. The narrator has offbeat intonation, but the wry humor of the character comes through well. Not a deep mindbender, but a fun mystery romp with unlikely heroes.
Kind of like a Magnum PI episode: not incredibly deep but entertaining...
It takes about an hour into the book before all of the pieces come together but Jack McDevitt sure knows how to write a gripping story
"The reading performance is perfect"
Every book usually has a boring moment during which you just skim.
I am yet to find one in this series.
There are very few books that I am willing to listen to over and over again. Jennifer van Dyck's reading has made this series so immersive that I feel like I am living in that time period. I can even relate to the background characters. Now I actively seek out titles where she is a reader.
I wish there were more than 6 titles in the series.
At some point in the story everything starts to get a little predictable. I guess this is because I have read so many sci fi titles but, I still rate the story high.
If you are looking for a title (or a series for that matter) that will engage you for a few days, this series is perfect.
"Sherlock Holmes meets Indiana Jones"
McDevitt creates an enjoyable futuristic environment with likeable characters and an interesting and compelling plot.
"Entertaining but Deeply Flawed"
There are multiple problems here. For openers, there are few if any appreciable differences between American society of the date written and human society ten thousand years hence. No imagination used there at all There is also a problem with Alex's sexism which again gives it a 1980s feel. Worst, perhaps, the author requires his supposedly-very-smart lead characters to do VERY stoopid things ... over, and over, and over again ... just to generate excitement and plot twists. It's as bad as a teen horror flick without the goalie mask.
This is basically unforgivable. Most of what happens between the setup and the conclusion should be rewritten from scratch. But the brief twist at the end is decent.
Oh Dear Gawd, I most certainly hope not. It would be straight to cable, and I mean the SyFy channel at best.
Great concept for a harmless little space mystery, and mildly entertaining on that basis. But this is just the Mary Celeste done with a high-tech motivation and on multiple worlds. It could as easily have been two hundred years ago on multiple continents. You wouldn't be able to tell the difference.
"Indiana Jones in Space"
Alex and Chase try to solve a mystery when suddenly everyone seems to be trying to kill them. Who knew antiques were quite so dangerous?
This was my first and probably last McDevitt novel. Can't recommend this on any front: not enough science for the sci-fi crowd, a boring mystery that will leave mystery lovers unsatisfied, so slow moving that there isn't any tension or suspense for those who favor thrillers.
The secret that the main characters are trying to uncover has a scientific bent, but otherwise any science fiction elements are only trappings on a worn out "ghost ship" mystery. The hero and heroine aren't particularly clever (getting caught by the same trick twice) and MUCH slower than the reader/listener to grasp the nature of the mystery. I skipped the last 2.5 hours of the first section, and when I picked it up on part 2, the characters were just beginning to understand what was going on, which was obvious at the point I'd stopped listening in Part 1. So glad I didn't suffer through the needless "development." Way too much detail on things that have nothing to do with the plot.
Liked the narrator's voice, but she remains calm and soothing even during the scenes that came closest to being cliffhanger moments. She needed more animation.
"Love Jack McDevitt Books"
Sometimes it is difficult to get started in a space opera book, but I love these books and the characters are awesome. I look forward to the wise cracks and how each mystery unravels. Diving into the next book.
Not as good as the first in the series, but not a bad listen all the same.
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