web site hit counter The Eternity Artifact - Ebooks PDF Online
Hot Best Seller

The Eternity Artifact

Availability: Ready to download

Five thousand years in the future, humankind has spread across the galaxy and more than a dozen different planetary and system governments exist in an uneasy truce. Human beings have found no signs of other life anywhere approaching human intelligence. Until scientists discover a sunless planet they name Danann. Moving at unnaturally high speed, Danann travels the void just Five thousand years in the future, humankind has spread across the galaxy and more than a dozen different planetary and system governments exist in an uneasy truce. Human beings have found no signs of other life anywhere approaching human intelligence. Until scientists discover a sunless planet they name Danann. Moving at unnaturally high speed, Danann travels the void just beyond the edge of the galaxy. Its continents and oceans have been sculpted and shaped and there is but a single, almost perfectly-preserved megaplex upon the surface--with tens of thousands of near-identical metallic-silver-blue towers set along curved canals. Yet, Danann has been abandoned for so long that even the atmosphere has frozen solid. Orbital shuttle pilot Jiendra Chang, artist Chendor Barna, and history professor Liam Fitzhugh are recruited by the Comity government and its Deep Space Service as part of an unprecedented and unique expedition to unravel Danann's secrets. And there are forces that will stop at nothing to prevent them, even if it means interstellar war.


Compare

Five thousand years in the future, humankind has spread across the galaxy and more than a dozen different planetary and system governments exist in an uneasy truce. Human beings have found no signs of other life anywhere approaching human intelligence. Until scientists discover a sunless planet they name Danann. Moving at unnaturally high speed, Danann travels the void just Five thousand years in the future, humankind has spread across the galaxy and more than a dozen different planetary and system governments exist in an uneasy truce. Human beings have found no signs of other life anywhere approaching human intelligence. Until scientists discover a sunless planet they name Danann. Moving at unnaturally high speed, Danann travels the void just beyond the edge of the galaxy. Its continents and oceans have been sculpted and shaped and there is but a single, almost perfectly-preserved megaplex upon the surface--with tens of thousands of near-identical metallic-silver-blue towers set along curved canals. Yet, Danann has been abandoned for so long that even the atmosphere has frozen solid. Orbital shuttle pilot Jiendra Chang, artist Chendor Barna, and history professor Liam Fitzhugh are recruited by the Comity government and its Deep Space Service as part of an unprecedented and unique expedition to unravel Danann's secrets. And there are forces that will stop at nothing to prevent them, even if it means interstellar war.

30 review for The Eternity Artifact

  1. 5 out of 5

    Terence

    Not much to say here really. The Eternity Artifact is what I call an "airplane book" - something to kill the time flying to the Christmas family reunion but nothing to get excited about. The basic plot is that several thousand years in the future, the Comity of Worlds (a secular, reasonably tolerant and liberal polity) has discovered an extra-galactic alien artifact and assembles a team to go out and take a look at it before it enters an area of singularities and becomes unreachable. Ranged agai Not much to say here really. The Eternity Artifact is what I call an "airplane book" - something to kill the time flying to the Christmas family reunion but nothing to get excited about. The basic plot is that several thousand years in the future, the Comity of Worlds (a secular, reasonably tolerant and liberal polity) has discovered an extra-galactic alien artifact and assembles a team to go out and take a look at it before it enters an area of singularities and becomes unreachable. Ranged against the Comity are the primary enemies of "truth, justice & the American way" in the galaxy, the theocracies of the Convenanters (Christian fanatics) and the Sunnite Alliance (Muslim fanatics). It's told from the 1st-person point of view of four actors in this drama: a former-commando/now university professor, a shuttle pilot, an artist and a deep-cover Covenanter agent sent to destroy the mission. I don't believe I'll be injecting a spoiler if I say that the "good guys" win in the end. Or that there's an inevitable and badly handled "love affair" between the professor and the pilot. I had more problems with this novel than good times, alas. First off, the author tries to differentiate between characters by having them speak in different registers. The professor uses polysyllabic words in convoluted sentences; the shuttle pilot uses clipped, one-syllable words, sometimes in the most ungrammatical way; etc. So much so, that the dialogs become parody. A good author uses speech to make their characters unique but the reader shouldn't be aware of it until they've left the novel's "world" and are writing the review on GoodReads :-) The dialog is also, all too often, preachy and simplistic. Especially the professor's, who appears to be the author's alter ego and talks like a bad sociology textbook. The universe the author creates is also implausible to me. I could accept a continuation of today's general political/sociological framework projected a century or even several centuries into the future. But it's not plausible that the very same issues facing humans in the first quarter of the 21st century are plaguing us in the 51st and beyond. Oh, I don't mean that we won't be wrestling with faith, technology, aggression, etc., I just can't accept that it will be under the same framework of a secular "West" and a fundamentalist Christian and/or Muslim theocracy. And within that framework, the divisions are too simplistic - apparently everyone in the Comity is a committed secularist, if not an outright atheist, while everyone in the Covenant or the Alliance is a fundamentalist. Mr. Modesitt will join the list of authors who may be competent writers but are "just not my cup of tea." I can't really recommend this to anyone but if you happen to be a fan of the author, I now have a copy of one of his books I'd be willing to part with :-)

  2. 4 out of 5

    Wealhtheow

    Very boring scifi. Modesitt can suck the fun and excitement out of even the most amazing alien tech.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Chris Gager

    I was visiting my favorite book source the other day, the Phippsburg town transfer station(i.e the dump) and came across a trove(15 books) of sci-fi paperbacks in excellent condition. A surprise, as I usually don't fine much sci-fi there. So ... this is the first one. Never heard of the author. So far it's pretty hard sci-fi-ish, but I think I can hang in there with it. The cover blurbs include a good one from David Drake, a writer I like so ... Up to a hundred pages now and the big ole spaceship I was visiting my favorite book source the other day, the Phippsburg town transfer station(i.e the dump) and came across a trove(15 books) of sci-fi paperbacks in excellent condition. A surprise, as I usually don't fine much sci-fi there. So ... this is the first one. Never heard of the author. So far it's pretty hard sci-fi-ish, but I think I can hang in there with it. The cover blurbs include a good one from David Drake, a writer I like so ... Up to a hundred pages now and the big ole spaceship and it's mysterious mission haven't exactly taken off as the author takes his time shifting back and forth between four protagonists with distinctly different voices. I'm enjoying it so far. - Agent Bond is a bit "Jamesian." - Funny/telling how long it took to make it clear that Chang is female. Never assume! - This book has an intimate feeling for a space opera. This comes from the four different perspectives. Small but vital parts of a greater whole. - Page 119 - "Rynd winced." - this book is full of references to other sci-fi stuff. "Rincewind" is a terry Pratchett "Discworld" character. I'm in the fat middle of this one as I'm in the middle of the other two books I'm reading. It's a bit of a slog, but still interesting. When I get tired of it I just shift to another book. Works very well. This is indeed a space opera, but very heavy on the the science-y stuff. The author doesn't skimp to get to the more interesting stuff like love, sex and warfare. There's that too, though. Like Dan Simmons, the author proposes a strong future presence in space for religious entities seeking and maintaining political and even military power. I don't see it myself, but he's entitled to his own speculations. They seem to be the bad guys in this story. - a tall, blonde, baddass/no nonsense gal pilot named Chang is the first hero to pop up. I'm getting close to the end, but it's tough to read a LOT of this book at one sitting. It's SO DRY and science-y. Still interesting, though, even the stuff I'm not sure I understand, like the universe and everything ... - So far now three of the four protagonists have proven to be heroes of various types: brave, smart, tough, and intrepid. The fourth character is a bad guy(though he still possesses the same qualities). Finished last night with this VERY dry(and drawn-out) story. Dry as in the style of the author's prose. The ideas are interesting enough, but I suspect that the author will always be an acquired taste. Very prolific, too.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Benjamin

    Takes a genuinely interesting premise, then manages to spend hundreds of pages repetitiously focusing on the dullest aspects of it.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Traci Loudin

    First, full disclosure--I didn't finish reading this book and I generally don't enjoy first-person stories as well. The actual story in this book didn't start til after page 100, and by then, I was already exhausted by the shifting first-person viewpoint. That's right, you get a new first-person viewpoint character each chapter. I think there are five viewpoint characters total. Maybe if this had been written with five shifting third-person viewpoint characters, I could have handled it. The firs First, full disclosure--I didn't finish reading this book and I generally don't enjoy first-person stories as well. The actual story in this book didn't start til after page 100, and by then, I was already exhausted by the shifting first-person viewpoint. That's right, you get a new first-person viewpoint character each chapter. I think there are five viewpoint characters total. Maybe if this had been written with five shifting third-person viewpoint characters, I could have handled it. The first 100 pages consisted of watching the five characters being collected by the military to go on a mission (which we already know a little about from the back cover, so the characters' lack of knowledge is also tedious). You know there's an interesting planet-object floating outside the galaxy without sun or satellite around it. By page 100 you find out what else is distinctive about it. Yet still nothing much is happening. I probably stopped reading right when things would have got interesting, but my patience was through.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Craig

    This novel is told to good effect in four shifting first person perspectives. Each has a very distinctive voice, and are convincing and likeable for the most part. I really enjoyed the characters and their development and interaction, but the plot and pacing kind of fell flat. The alien archaeology was interesting, but the politics and space battles were not. I believe it would have been better had it it been more tightly edited (maybe a hundred pages shorter), and perhaps with an improved endin This novel is told to good effect in four shifting first person perspectives. Each has a very distinctive voice, and are convincing and likeable for the most part. I really enjoyed the characters and their development and interaction, but the plot and pacing kind of fell flat. The alien archaeology was interesting, but the politics and space battles were not. I believe it would have been better had it it been more tightly edited (maybe a hundred pages shorter), and perhaps with an improved ending.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Daniel

    A fun sci-fi adventure, with a story that is overall very cool. I found the actual writing a little unpleasant, though. In particular, the narration of the professor character seems designed to be as annoying as possible.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jon

    (This review was written in 2006)Unremarkable. In fact, this novel is so unremarkable that I've spent the last week, since I finished it, trying to think of some remarks to make about it. I've liked Modesitt for years, and it WAS readable, but I don't really think it's up to his usual entertaining standards. It seems that in the depths of space an engineered planetoid has been discovered, of unimaginable antiquity. An expedition is mounted to investigate the body, and the city scale artifact upon (This review was written in 2006)Unremarkable. In fact, this novel is so unremarkable that I've spent the last week, since I finished it, trying to think of some remarks to make about it. I've liked Modesitt for years, and it WAS readable, but I don't really think it's up to his usual entertaining standards. It seems that in the depths of space an engineered planetoid has been discovered, of unimaginable antiquity. An expedition is mounted to investigate the body, and the city scale artifact upon it. Everything is quite mysterious, and people from all of the governments around the galaxy are are attempting to either control the alien technology that might be revealed there, or to destroy it so others won't be able to. Seems like I've seen this plot a half dozen times before. Much of this novel, however, is thinly veiled historical, political and philosophical pedantry. One of the primary characters aboard the expedition is history professor Liam Fitzhugh. A key aspect of his characterization by Modesitt is his propensity for hiding his true feelings behind multi-syllabic utterances, and throughout the novel we are treated to his treatises on the aforementioned subjects. Heinlein, in his middle years, was able to do this quite skillfully, still weaving an engrossing, captivating tale. In this novel, at least, Modesitt falls a bit short.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Cliff

    In the distant future the galaxy has been settled by homo sapiens, but with a number of competing groups, rather than an overarching polity which is so often the case. Before the story really begins, we learn that a distant, Chronos, has been found, but that expeditions to find out more about it have been abandoned as fruitless. Then another is discovered, a wandering planet. An expedition is mounted containing specialists from a wide variety of disciplines. This is sent in secret by the Comity, In the distant future the galaxy has been settled by homo sapiens, but with a number of competing groups, rather than an overarching polity which is so often the case. Before the story really begins, we learn that a distant, Chronos, has been found, but that expeditions to find out more about it have been abandoned as fruitless. Then another is discovered, a wandering planet. An expedition is mounted containing specialists from a wide variety of disciplines. This is sent in secret by the Comity, the largest grouping in the galaxy. Interest is, however, shown by two fundamentalist Christian and Islamic planetary groups. To say what happens as a result would lead to inevitable spoilers, so I'll say no more, other than that the book is well written and I liked the way the narrative proceeds from different viewpoints of members of the expedition. This can be confusing, but I didn't find that the case here. The author gives each of the narrating characters their own style.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jim N

    Modesitt drains every ounce of life from an interesting premise. I made it 216 pages into this book before finally giving up on it. The writing is dull, the characters lifeless and the story repetitive. The novel is written from the first person point of view of 4 different characters so some chapters literally just repeat what's happened before from the point of view of another character. That could be an interesting technique if it was used to dramatic effect or to offer powerful insights but Modesitt drains every ounce of life from an interesting premise. I made it 216 pages into this book before finally giving up on it. The writing is dull, the characters lifeless and the story repetitive. The novel is written from the first person point of view of 4 different characters so some chapters literally just repeat what's happened before from the point of view of another character. That could be an interesting technique if it was used to dramatic effect or to offer powerful insights but it's not, at least not in the first half of the book. Instead, it reads like Modesitt was trying to pad the page count. I hate setting a book aside unfinished but when a book is this awful, there's just no point in spending more time on it.

  11. 4 out of 5

    William Crosby

    Several groups (such as Comity, Covenanters) manipulate, sabotage, and fight each other across the galaxy because of an ancient artifact (one group wants to study it for the tech, another wants to make sure nobody has it because they feel it would question their religious beliefs). Each chapter takes the perspective of a different character using different types of words (academic, artistic, militaristic, etc) and sometimes we see different views of the same incident. The critique of religions and Several groups (such as Comity, Covenanters) manipulate, sabotage, and fight each other across the galaxy because of an ancient artifact (one group wants to study it for the tech, another wants to make sure nobody has it because they feel it would question their religious beliefs). Each chapter takes the perspective of a different character using different types of words (academic, artistic, militaristic, etc) and sometimes we see different views of the same incident. The critique of religions and theistic societies sometimes is in excess and slows down the plot.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Phil Hall

    Fun story. An expedition to an alien planet with technology beyond humans' understanding. Unfortunately, the ending wrap-up was disappointing and was neither mysterious nor satisfactory nor amazing (I would expect at least one of the above from a sci-fi book of this genre). Also, my edition has an inordinate number of typos. So much so that I wondered if the final copy had even been proof read! Fun story. An expedition to an alien planet with technology beyond humans' understanding. Unfortunately, the ending wrap-up was disappointing and was neither mysterious nor satisfactory nor amazing (I would expect at least one of the above from a sci-fi book of this genre). Also, my edition has an inordinate number of typos. So much so that I wondered if the final copy had even been proof read!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Gail Morris

    interesting idea of finding a planet in the void of space with evidence of alien life in the far distant past... I just have to say that his repetitive use of Christians as backward and violent to non-Christians in his various books gets annoying, since that is a bit prejudice and not true of ALL Christians.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Joseph F Cowan

    Thoroughly enjoyed this book Great scifi military adventure as well as a romance. Clever use of multiple narrators and slow development if story works well. Love Modesitt's hard science works as well as his Ghost trilogy. Thoroughly enjoyed this book Great scifi military adventure as well as a romance. Clever use of multiple narrators and slow development if story works well. Love Modesitt's hard science works as well as his Ghost trilogy.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Keith Osmond

    Slow but enjoyable read, somewhat marred by atrocious proofreading.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Akshay Singh

    The style of writing for a science fiction book is quite interesting, with multiple assigned narrators. Character building is also well done, and the description of another world is good.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ralph

    Interesting but very very dry

  18. 4 out of 5

    Tim Martin

    _The Eternity Artifact_ by L.E. Modesitt, Jr. is a fun, well-written far future, hard science, deep space science fiction novel. The basic premise is that humanity has spread throughout the galaxy through thousands of worlds, forming several interstellar governments, none of which appear to like the other (and indeed some hate all the others at a deeply-felt religious level). They exist at the start of the book at best in an uneasy truce, though they are always scheming for ways to gain an advan _The Eternity Artifact_ by L.E. Modesitt, Jr. is a fun, well-written far future, hard science, deep space science fiction novel. The basic premise is that humanity has spread throughout the galaxy through thousands of worlds, forming several interstellar governments, none of which appear to like the other (and indeed some hate all the others at a deeply-felt religious level). They exist at the start of the book at best in an uneasy truce, though they are always scheming for ways to gain an advantage over others. Throughout the galaxy, no one has found any evidence of past or present alien intelligences. Until now that is. A sunless planet, ejected from the galaxy and traveling at unheard of speeds deep into the intergalactic void, has been discovered by one of the interstellar governments. The world appears unlike anything ever seen. Though the atmosphere apparently froze solid billions of years ago, the planet shows evidence that its oceans and continents had been deliberately manipulated into the present form by some alien intelligence. Even more striking, a single city or megaplex had been discovered, perfectly preserved, a realm of thousands of nearly identical silvery-blue metallic towers set along a system of what were once canals. The city is so old it predated even the freezing-out of the atmosphere. The world was dubbed Danann and one interstellar government, the Comity, dispatched a top-secret mission to this incredibly distant world. It was comprised of a specially selected mixture of military personnel and civilian experts, the mission's story told through the eyes of four individuals, each individual meriting a chapter presenting the book's activity from their point of view. One is Liam Fitzhugh, a professor of historical trends pressed against his will into the mission as an academic expert (and who possesses hidden depths and an important though little-known at first background). Another is Chendor Barna, a highly talented and famous artist picked to chronicle the mission and to use his hard-to-define artist's eye to ascertain details missed by others. The third person is Jiendra Chang, a hardened, somewhat jaded female shuttle pilot, one who doesn't get along well with authority but brought on as one of the best at what she does. The fourth person is William Gerald Bond. Or rather, is known as such to those on the ship _Magellan_, the main vessel of the expedition to Danann. In reality his name if John Paul Goodman and he is a foreign operative from a power opposed to the Comity, deeply conditioned and highly trained and who killed the real Bond and replaced him on the mission. His presence not only indicates a real danger to those on expedition and to the mission, but hints at the depths of political intrigue within the Comity and with other governments. Awash with plans within plans, the other governments either want the vast alien technological bonanza that Danann represents for themselves (or deny others from getting it if they can't have it), or in the cases of some religiously-motivated governments, want to bury and repress it, preventing anyone from ever getting it (and making sure no one from the expedition is ever heard from again). It was a good book. I liked the political intrigue though I felt that the other governments could have been fleshed out a little better. I thought that the mechanism of presenting the story from the point of view of four individuals worked well and they were distinct characters, though I found the excessive verbiage of Fitzhugh sometimes a bit much (though his verbiage was explained, it was still sometimes hard to read). The mystery of the alien technology was quite interesting when it was finally presented at the end, I certainly didn't guess it. I really liked the sense of mood and atmosphere of the expedition once they were on Danann, the sense of being way out in the darkness, far from home, of the sheer alien-ness of the megaplex, of the deep sense of mystery there and the feeling that anything could happen. The book is also self-contained and stand-alone. Though I enjoy trilogies, quartets, and so on, it is good sometimes to read a book that begins and ends an entire tale.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Koopal

    I really wanted to like this book more than I did. Although I enjoyed the plot I thought there were too many moments where the author over emphasized too much on establishing a setting. The book was filled with narration explaining the action the characters were conducting along with the action occurring around them. For instance, the narration explaining the pilot's flying a shuttle was so technical and detailed I thought I was reading a pilots training manual. I enjoyed this to a point but I t I really wanted to like this book more than I did. Although I enjoyed the plot I thought there were too many moments where the author over emphasized too much on establishing a setting. The book was filled with narration explaining the action the characters were conducting along with the action occurring around them. For instance, the narration explaining the pilot's flying a shuttle was so technical and detailed I thought I was reading a pilots training manual. I enjoyed this to a point but I thought most of these parts went on longer than needed. I thought those moments went on too long distracting the reader away from the plot. The characters were interesting. The author developed their personalities so well, which was an integral part of the storyline. It was their personalities and their mind set which created some of the plot rather than the author narrating events. I believed in the romance between the two characters, Chang and Fitzhough. They had such uniqueness that complemented each other and the plot. Barna was a positive character point of view that gave the reader insightful analysis about certain details of the story. The climax to the suspenseful plot was a let down. There was so much narrative speculation from the characters establishing the suspense but when the end came the author did not present a concrete ending but rather more narrative speculation from the characters to pass off as an answer to all the earlier speculations for the readers to accept. I can understand why the author ends the story with speculations rather than actual events. Besides the science fiction theme the author intertwine theocratic and political turmoil into the undertone of the story. Religion and politics is always a conflicting topic to discuss and the author uses that along with adding speculative issues of the existence of evil to create suspense. Again I enjoyed this to a point because at times I felt I was reading a sci fi action drama than at other times I thought i was reading a sci fi thriller which confused me. In the end I still wasn't able to determine which sci fi genre to classify this book.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Cris

    If this had been the first book I ever read by Modesitt, I wouldn't read anything further. The book wasn't bad, just weak. I think Modesitt attempted to make this book character-driven rather than plot-driven, except he introduced too many characters. And most of the characters were rather uninteresting. (Although Modesitt did a nice job in differentiating the characters by presenting them as first person and changing the way each character thought and spoke.) One character was just repulsive fr If this had been the first book I ever read by Modesitt, I wouldn't read anything further. The book wasn't bad, just weak. I think Modesitt attempted to make this book character-driven rather than plot-driven, except he introduced too many characters. And most of the characters were rather uninteresting. (Although Modesitt did a nice job in differentiating the characters by presenting them as first person and changing the way each character thought and spoke.) One character was just repulsive from the beginning. We met the character as he was conducting an assassination then picked him up again as he killed a man who was 'in the way' of his 'mission' before indulging in a bit of rape. (And this was the character that Modesitt chose to (view spoiler)[make the argument for religion as opposed to science (hide spoiler)] . Ugh.) I think Modesitt attempted to set up a dichotomy between religion/faith and science forcing each character to choose. But I find that to be a false dichotomy, I don't buy that science and faith are inherently contradictory. Plus, Modesitt made no attempt to make choosing faith or religion appealing. Slow plot without engaging characters or setting to draw the reader in.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kivrin

    Hmmm, it was a good read and was well written. I liked the mystery aspect (what will they find on this deserted, frozen planet and when they find something, what is it?) I found the political factions confusing as in I felt like this book was probably set in a universe that's been explained in other books. I picked this novel up because the author had been recommended. I didn't think it was part of a series but it may be that this writer sets all his books in this universe. Anyway, as I'm turnin Hmmm, it was a good read and was well written. I liked the mystery aspect (what will they find on this deserted, frozen planet and when they find something, what is it?) I found the political factions confusing as in I felt like this book was probably set in a universe that's been explained in other books. I picked this novel up because the author had been recommended. I didn't think it was part of a series but it may be that this writer sets all his books in this universe. Anyway, as I'm turning pages, I'm thinking, "There is no way this is going to wrap up by the end of this book unless everyone dies!" Well, everyone doesn't die, but I'm not sure everything was wrapped up either. The final pages revealed no surprises and didn't really leave me feeling satisfied. I did like several of the characters and thought they were very well written and interesting (the good guys and the bad guys), although one was incredibly irritating every time he opened his mouth. The edition I read had some truly appalling copy editing. Extra words thrown in here and there; other words left out completely. That always throws me out of the story. I am going to try a few more books by this author to see if he wrote something I'll find more to my liking.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Algot Runeman

    I started out reading and was sure that Modesitt had a problem with words. It was as if he were writing with a thesaurus open beside his writing pad (or computer keyboard). It seemed that any time he was ready to write a common word, he seemed to use the most odd choice available in the thesaurus. I complained to my wife. She suffers from my steady comments about books, no matter whether I'm gushing praise or heaping scorn. Well, it turns out that the excess in verbiage was a character's flaw. A I started out reading and was sure that Modesitt had a problem with words. It was as if he were writing with a thesaurus open beside his writing pad (or computer keyboard). It seemed that any time he was ready to write a common word, he seemed to use the most odd choice available in the thesaurus. I complained to my wife. She suffers from my steady comments about books, no matter whether I'm gushing praise or heaping scorn. Well, it turns out that the excess in verbiage was a character's flaw. Another person in the book complained about it. After realizing I wasn't in for thesaurus thrall, I began to relax and also began to get into the story. Some artifact has been found and one political group of the several human cultures, the Comity, wants to explore it. The deeply religious cultures don't want the artifact to be explored or exploited, especially if it makes the Comity stronger and them weaker. The many good characters carry this space opera forward effectively, and the battles don't overpower the thoughtful consideration of humanity divided against itself even though no longer confined to the single home world of Earth.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Hester

    Not only is this book written in first-person perspective; the perspective switches between four different characters. For anyone intimidated or uncomfortable with reading in this style, I highly suggest you stay clear. Outside of the that nagging surprise, the book itself was fairly good, though it failed to delivery entirely on the premise I was hoping for. As inspiration for my own story, I was hoping to get an idea of how to write a story told largely about exploring an unknown and unfamiliar l Not only is this book written in first-person perspective; the perspective switches between four different characters. For anyone intimidated or uncomfortable with reading in this style, I highly suggest you stay clear. Outside of the that nagging surprise, the book itself was fairly good, though it failed to delivery entirely on the premise I was hoping for. As inspiration for my own story, I was hoping to get an idea of how to write a story told largely about exploring an unknown and unfamiliar location. While it is implied that this is the premised behind the novel, very little actually takes place on, in, or near the location. Instead the book is more about the interactions and lives of the characters involved in the exploration. While this can't be considered a criticism; it wasn't quite what I was expecting when I started. I also could have used some better exposition regarding the universe the story existed within. It's hard to properly accept the danger brought about the history of this future if I have no idea about it. All-in-all, a pretty decent read.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Tommy

    In the far future, humankind finally discovers signs of intelligent alien life, and undertakes a long journey to check it out. Unfortunately, the signs are millions of years old and the aliens are long gone. But what they've left behind is enough to start the biggest battle in human history. I raced through this book, and loved the characters. It's told in alternating first-person chapters, and Modesitt does a good job of giving each character a distinctly different voice. I got occasionally con In the far future, humankind finally discovers signs of intelligent alien life, and undertakes a long journey to check it out. Unfortunately, the signs are millions of years old and the aliens are long gone. But what they've left behind is enough to start the biggest battle in human history. I raced through this book, and loved the characters. It's told in alternating first-person chapters, and Modesitt does a good job of giving each character a distinctly different voice. I got occasionally confused by the techie aspects, and some of the space battles, but kept with it because I was so anxious to find out what happened to the characters. Some really interesting interpersonal relationships, and not just romantic ones, either. I do sort of wish more concrete explanations had ultimately been revealed about the "aliens," but enjoyed the fascinating glimpses given. I don't think that's the point of this novel, though. It's really about human nature. I think Modesitt is exploring and defining "human," and "alien" as concepts. I'd definitely read another book by him.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Robert Negut

    Rather surprisingly for Modesitt, there's practically no mention of the environment and ecology in this book. There's also little put forward regarding how a future society should function. There is, however, plenty of talk about, or in fact against, religion, as well as much about certain other defining characteristics of humanity, so it's certainly still Modesitt, largely wrapping philosophy in space opera in order to get some ideas across to a wider audience. What I can say about the book is t Rather surprisingly for Modesitt, there's practically no mention of the environment and ecology in this book. There's also little put forward regarding how a future society should function. There is, however, plenty of talk about, or in fact against, religion, as well as much about certain other defining characteristics of humanity, so it's certainly still Modesitt, largely wrapping philosophy in space opera in order to get some ideas across to a wider audience. What I can say about the book is that I liked how it went perhaps somewhat into Rama territory but had next to nothing of the human filth that made me loathe those books. Or it still had a fair bit of it, seeing what its purpose was, but it was presented in a way that I could not just stomach but actually even enjoy, mostly. And the contrast between Chang's and Fitzhugh's chapters was quite refreshing, as were the four different viewpoints in general.

  26. 4 out of 5

    William

    Interesting scifi story made even more interesting by the narrative style - the story unfolds in first-person perspective through the eyes of four very different individuals. As the story progresses, their paths intertwine. It reminds me of four dischordant musical pieces coming together at the very end in a startling harmony. I've read a few first-person/multiple-voice novels, including Faulkner, but Modesitt did a great job teasing this story (and this reader) along through the eyes and action Interesting scifi story made even more interesting by the narrative style - the story unfolds in first-person perspective through the eyes of four very different individuals. As the story progresses, their paths intertwine. It reminds me of four dischordant musical pieces coming together at the very end in a startling harmony. I've read a few first-person/multiple-voice novels, including Faulkner, but Modesitt did a great job teasing this story (and this reader) along through the eyes and actions of the four characters. I don't want to give any spoilers, but, like many of Modesitt's works, this one can make you ponder some big questions...but you might not know what those questions are until the end.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Not his best work, but by no means his worst either. The plot is really a thin disguise for a moral commentary which is similar to some of his other books. The major quibble I had with this book was one of the characters, Fitzhugh, spoke in an incredibly irritating manner which appeared just to be a way for the author to show off the range of his vocabulary, for example he 'perambulates' everywhere instead of walks. Although Fitzhugh was meant to be an academic, some of it just seemed unnecessar Not his best work, but by no means his worst either. The plot is really a thin disguise for a moral commentary which is similar to some of his other books. The major quibble I had with this book was one of the characters, Fitzhugh, spoke in an incredibly irritating manner which appeared just to be a way for the author to show off the range of his vocabulary, for example he 'perambulates' everywhere instead of walks. Although Fitzhugh was meant to be an academic, some of it just seemed unnecessary and silly. Despite all this, I still found the book an enjoyable read although, unlike most of his Recluce books, I'm not convinced it has much re-read value.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Spencer B

    The is an axiom of science fiction that must be obeyed. The author must show at least a rudimentary understanding of the impacts of his imagined technology on society. As it is all imagination, failing to imagine how society might be impacted by the advances you imagine shows contempt for your readership. intelligent nanotechnology robots capable of reading thoughts and decoding input from aural nerves exists and all it is used for is as a suicide pill for assassin spies. Or The characters take f The is an axiom of science fiction that must be obeyed. The author must show at least a rudimentary understanding of the impacts of his imagined technology on society. As it is all imagination, failing to imagine how society might be impacted by the advances you imagine shows contempt for your readership. intelligent nanotechnology robots capable of reading thoughts and decoding input from aural nerves exists and all it is used for is as a suicide pill for assassin spies. Or The characters take for granted their carbon assembled food mass, and boggle at extrudable furniture which is a different application of the exact same technology.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Angraecus Daniels

    A lot of good ideas, poorly executed. As a reader, I found this book to be sluggish and boring. But as a writer, I found the characterizations interesting. This book has four view point characters, each with a distinct personality and history. It was interesting the way each character's personality comes through in the language they use to narrate their respective chapters. I especially liked the sharp contrast between the pilot and the professor's personalities, and how the author tied them tog A lot of good ideas, poorly executed. As a reader, I found this book to be sluggish and boring. But as a writer, I found the characterizations interesting. This book has four view point characters, each with a distinct personality and history. It was interesting the way each character's personality comes through in the language they use to narrate their respective chapters. I especially liked the sharp contrast between the pilot and the professor's personalities, and how the author tied them together with romantic subplot. Unfortunately, the main story was just dull. And the various scientific and social theories weighed down the action too much.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jeffrey Jelmeland

    Not his best work. The primary plot, while seemingly unique simply masks an underlying plot that is a moralistic commentary that we have seen many times before in his other work. Finishing the book left me feeling like I had read another, and sparked memories of other works that have expressed similar viewpoints. In the end nothing seemed resolved, simply a continuous thread that leads to...nowhere. I expected more from this author, and instead I found a retread. Will I eventually add this to my Not his best work. The primary plot, while seemingly unique simply masks an underlying plot that is a moralistic commentary that we have seen many times before in his other work. Finishing the book left me feeling like I had read another, and sparked memories of other works that have expressed similar viewpoints. In the end nothing seemed resolved, simply a continuous thread that leads to...nowhere. I expected more from this author, and instead I found a retread. Will I eventually add this to my own library? I doubt it.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.