Forty-one years ago, the renowned physicist Chris Robin vanished. Before his disappearance, his fringe-science theories about the existence of endless alternate universes had earned him both admirers and enemies. Alex Benedict and Chase Kolpath discover that Robin had several interstellar yachts flown far outside the planetary system, where they too vanished. And following Robin's trail into the unknown puts Benedict and Kolpath in danger.
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Von Walter Am hilfreichsten 21.06.2012
The whole Benedict
Especially since the earlier novels and in particular its start are often mentioned any comment on one book should include the others as well.
The start with “A Talent for War” introduces Alex Benedict and shows him to be driven by a stubborn curiosity. Continuing a quest his uncle started he fights his own space-flight nausea and determined competitors. He is supported by Chase Kolpath, who piloted his uncle but is only a minor character in this good, solid suspense story in space told from Alex point of view.
The master-stroke of Jack McDevitt was to change the point of view with the first sequel: now the story is told by Chase who has become Alex permanent side-kick. Thereby Alex becomes more mysterious and deeper, a kind of Sherlock Holmes or Nero Wolfe who sends out Chase Goodwin for the legwork. Anyway the next two novels in the series “Polaris” and “Seeker” are just brilliant. Griping stories with lots of excitement and sly humour.
But with the next novel “The Devils Eye” there is a fundamental change: Alex and Chase able around in a surrounding of ghosts and politics as if this were the X-Files. Also their characters are down-brushed: Alex towards thief and Chase towards tramp. May-be the author felt that he had overdone it: in the following “Echo” both become somewhat softer: serious (other) love-interests for both, even a (short-lived) termination of their partnership. Good novels both, but not quite up to the standard of the two before them.
And now “Firebird”: Alex is pursuing one aim others criticize him for and at the same time another in secret. In the end, well, he is not quite satisfied. There is something missing and it is not the conclusion covered by the epilogue.
So while this is a very good book and again a superb performance by Jennifer van Dyck I feel so too: not quite satisfied.