Sunday, December 26, 2010
Echo An Alex Benedict Novel by Jack McDevitt
Echo is part of a series of novels featuring Alex Benedict, a recoverer of antiquities in the far future. In this novel, Alex Benedict is following the trail of an inscription written in stone which is part of no known human language. The inscription makes for an excellent gimmick.
The characterization is better than his earlier novels. I especially liked Sunset Tuttle, an explorer seeking alien civilizations for philosophical reasons. He creates an excellent back story for the book.
Alex Benedict's adversaries are more tragic than evil. The novel is more about how mistakes can lead to horrific consequences. The one exception is the sociopathic assassin bent on killing Chase Kolpath and Alex Benedict. However, the assassin is more subtle and devious than a brutish adversary.
This novel successfully combines mystery, exploration, archaeology, and suspense into a superb science fiction novel. It is the fifth in the Alex Benedict series. The third novel in the series, Seeker, won the Nebula Award.