I think that this story could appeal to people who don't usually read sci-fi. It's not overly technical. It is an excellent mystery/thriller. The main character is a strong female, and they don't fall in to the many possible cliches available during the plot line. Highly reccomended for sci-fi readers and mystery lovers!
This novel follows SEEKER, but it is complete in itself. I couldn't put it down, and stayed up 'way past my bedtime, 'cause I just had to see what came next.
Well written space opera with a hint of unknown aliens, a mystery such as the Marie Celeste, and an intelligent (though perhaps slightly ammoral) hero. Such fun!
This is a moderately fun thriller/mystery with a futuristic setting. I wouldn't call it sci/fi, though, since there is really no science involved, just a lot of spaceships. I had a good time reading it, even though the answer to the mystery is obvious very early on.
Set in the far future, Polaris describes Alex Benedict's efforts to understand how and why the crew of the ship Polaris disappeared. Benedict is a dealer in antiquities, not a detective, so his take on things can be different from that of someone "in the business".
The story is actually told from the perspective of his assistant and pilot, Chase Kolpath, and that is perhaps the weakest link in the novel. Telling it from the perspective of someone other than Benedict lets important realizations (and some events) happen off stage, so we only find out about them later. It may be a reasonable way to maintain the story and keep the reader guessing, but it feels a bit forced at times. Not horribly bad, though... just a bit off.
I enjoyed the novel for what it is - a detective story in an unusual environment - and found it pretty good reading. Enough to cause me to start the next in the series now.
Joshua W. reviewed Polaris (Alex Benedict, Bk 2) on
Can't remember when I've ever read a book where the two main characters were so naive. How many times does someone have to try to kill you before you start being more cautious? I thought the book was also a bit predictable, basically knew the end 1/4 of the way thru the book.
Very satisfying, readable SF mystery. The great strength of the two Alex Benedict novels I have read so far is the interesting background that McDevitt has created for his amateur sleuths Benedict and his "Watson," Chase Kolpath. The thousands of years of history of McDevitt's "Confederacy" of far-flung planets settled by humanity in the distant future is fed to us in dribs and drabs -- hints of war and suffering, triumphs and discoveries, even pop culture references to poets, playwrights and sport obsessions -- and it makes it feel like there is a very rich, detailed and real background to their world. It's a post-scarcity society: the challenge that this sets McDevitt is motivation: when no one needs to work, and the sky is, quite literally, the limit, what would provoke someone to murder? In this, and the previous novel in the series, "A Talent for War," McDevitt rises to the challenge, coming to grips with factors beyond greed that expose the flaws in this would-be paradise.
It isn't a deep read! I felt that there was some padding (in the course of their investigation, Benedict and Kolpath put themselves in a position where they are almost killed =three times=. It stretches the patience just a little to think that either they would be so stupid, or the police would allow them to continue to be so careless.
However, I'm looking forward to the next one in the series -- when I want "good read"!
60 yrs ago the space yacht Polaris was found deserted, the fate of it's pilot and passengers a mystery. Now to mark the anniversary of its disappearance there is to be an auction of what was left behind on the ship. Using his insider knowledge, Alex Benedict, one of the preeminent antiquities dealers in the Galaxy secures some of the artifacts. But then an explosion destroys most of the collection, convincing Alex that drastic measures are being taken to hide what happened aboard long ago.