Sunset Tuttle spent a lifetime looking for alien species. Twenty-five years after Tuttle’s death, Alex Benedict discovers a stone tablet inscribed with cryptic symbols, now in the possession of Tuttle’s one- time lover Rachel Bannister. Benedict is determined to decipher its secret-one Bannister doesn’t want revealed. Could it be that Tuttle’s obsessive quest was successful?
Review 5 of 5 Stars
I really enjoyed this book from start to finish and find that I very much like the Alex Benedict novels as a whole. It was a true mystery/thriller science fiction story and I loved it. I’m a big fan of mystery/thrillers and to have it all bound up in a science fiction story is almost more than I can ask for if it comes to getting everything you want out of a reading experience. Echo was very much my type of book. It was smart, suspenseful, had that gritty quality that allows you to suspend your disbelief and really get into a story. Both Alex Benedict and Chase Kolpath are fantastic companions to take on your adventure. They are smart, resourceful people who like getting at the answers. I hate to say too much and give away the ending which really makes the whole journey worth it. The intrigue and mystery will lead you upon an interesting path that takes you to an unexpected conclusion.
Reading this book has set me on a path of adventures with Alex Benedict and I hope you enjoy this book as well as others in the series as much as I did this one. I fully recommend it.
Interstellar antiquities dealer Alex Benedict and his assistant Chase Kolpath travel to the most remote of human worlds and uncover a secret connected to a decades-old political upheaval-a secret that somebody desperately wants hidden.
Review 3 of 5 Stars
Okay, so Alex Benedict is off on another adventure with his assistant Chase Kolpath. A superstar horror writer, Vicki Greene, has left Alex a message and a load of money, but she came back and had a brain wipe so she can’t tell him what she wanted him to do. Being Alex Benedict he cannot help but chase down the mystery.
This book actually starts out pretty well, but by the end it was just dragging for me. They follow an overabundance of leads that go nowhere, get in quite a bit of trouble, and then spend an inordinate amount of time trying to escape from a mostly inescapable place. They also manage to expose a secret that I think it would have been pretty difficult to keep a secret despite the reasons given in the book for why the secret was able to be kept.
I just couldn’t buy it. I’ve enjoyed several of Mr. McDevitt’s other books now, but this one just didn’t do it for me. Sometimes it’s like that. I have two more of his books on the shelf to read and I’m hoping to enjoy those as I have enjoyed the ones before this.
The author tells a good story and the writing was good, but it just seemed to drag on until I wasn’t as interested in the mystery (the strangely successful well kept secret) anymore and kind of just wanted him to give up and get on to the next case.
Description/Book Blurb: Forty-one years ago, the renowned physicist Dr. Christopher Robin vanished. Before his disappearance, his fringe science theories about the existence of endless alternate universes had earned him both admirers and enemies.
Now his widow has died and Alex Benedict has been asked to handle the auction of the physicist’s artifacts—leading the public to once again speculate on the mystery surrounding Robin’s disappearance. Did he finally find the door between parallel universes that he had long sought?
Intrigued, Benedict and Chase Kolpath embark on their own investigation as they follow the missing man’s trail into the unknown to uncover the truth—a truth people are willing to kill to protect…
Review 5 of 5 Stars
Firebird was a really good mystery/thriller science fiction time travel story. This is a smart story that doesn’t depend on jaunting through time to give you a great time travel story. In fact, aside from one poor soul who accidentally ends up there, the focus of the story is not about the actual experience of traveling through time but how to save those who are stuck traveling in time and the science of how those people became stuck in time. Those who read my reviews know I have a soft spot for time travel pieces, but I believe this one is smart enough and slick enough to interest regular science fiction readers as well and perhaps even those who don’t generally enjoy time travel stories. This is a story about the science of how the universe is made up and some of the possibilities that might be encountered by a society that travels freely through the stars. I don’t know if these things are possible or will be in the future, but it certainly is interesting to think and dream about such interesting and frightening possibilities.
It’s probably pretty obvious at this point that I’m on a Jack McDevitt kick as I just discovered his books recently and have been enjoying the chance to discover a new writer’s voice, characters and stories. I really enjoyed this book and have to say that of the books I’ve read from Jack McDevitt that my favorites are fast becoming the Alex Benedict books. For an antiquarian this character sure finds himself at the middle of a lot of things, but that’s where a good sense of curiosity takes you.
When physicist Michael Shelborne mysteriously vanishes, his son Shel discovers that he had constructed a time travel device. Following his father’s trail through history-from the enlightenment of Renaissance Italy through the American Wild West to the civil-right upheavals of the 20th century-Shel makes a devastating discovery that sends him feeling back through the ages, and changes his life forever.
Review: 4 of 5 Stars
Some of this is going to sound contradictory since I have to say I waffled between 3 and 4 stars, but I’ll explain that along the way.
Personally, I really enjoyed this book. It was a great trip through history. A veritable what-if traveling list for time travel adventurers. I fully admit that I have a weakness for both time travel stories and history. Thus my first dilemma when rating this book as I would be the first in line if they were offering time travel cruises and I feel it may bias my views on this type of story.
The actual shell story wasn’t very important to my overall enjoyment of the book and it really wasn’t all that memorable for me aside from a few pieces. This was my second consideration and what almost made me give it a 3. However, what I found interesting was the time spent in the past, the discussions about who to go visit and why, and seeing historic people at historic events which was well done and entertaining. Mostly what I found appealing about this particular book was the opportunity for just a moment to transport yourself to those far away times and places to catch a glimpse of that time if even just through a fictional account. That pretty much sums up why I love time travel stories. I would have loved to have gone along on the adventure. For that moment of daydreaming I’m willing to overlook a lot as I don’t expect that these gentlemen will show up on my front porch with a spare device and an invitation for me to come along.
It’s nice when they try to explain how you get there and whatever the paradox theory is for a particular book. In this one it’s the cardiac effect, which basically means if you mess up the timeline in some way that you aren’t supposed to that you’ll have a heart attack and die. There’s one event of sorts, some later discussion about it, and then it’s brought back up a few times in the story. Overall though not much time is spent worrying about it by the characters so as a reader I didn’t either. They kind of say that something could be a problem and then go off on their adventures despite it. As a reader I followed suit and was swept away without much worry for the cardiac effect.
So I settled on a 4 because I love traveling through the ages. If you also enjoy visiting long ago people and places in this manner and don’t care to spend too much time on how the time travel actually works then I think you’ll enjoy this story vacation as much as I did. If you’re looking for something with hard scientific data to get you down the time tunnel you might want to look elsewhere. It was highly readable and I breezed right through it feeling refreshed from the adventure.