Monday, January 26, 2009

A Talent for War by Jack McDevitt

The first book I read in 2009 was a good one. Somehow, I had missed the career of Jack McDevitt. When I recently returned from my SF sabbatical I kept hearing about McDevitt's books. As is usual for me, I managed to pick up a few of his books before I found the first one in the Alex Benedict series. Now I see why so many readers like his novels.

A Talent for War sets the basic premise of the series. The death of Alex's uncle has left a mystery to be solved. With the aid of Chase Kolpath, Alex sets out to solve the mystery of what his uncle was researching. Although the story slows down in spots, overall it is an exciting story as the clues are revealed. Every time progress is being made another obstacle is thrown in their path. In this case, the journey is worth the effort. The author does a great job of showing how history is not always what it appears to be. But there is usually a good reason for the way history is reported.

I will be looking forward to reading other books by this author. In some ways this seems inspired by the sf mysteries of Isaac Asimov(The Caves of Steel, The Naked Sun). If I had read this in 1989 when it was first published, I know I would have followed McDevitt through his many novels. Now, I have a stack of books to add to my must read pile.

Highly recommended.

Rating: 4 out of 5.


Carl V. said...

I picked up the next two books in this series awhile back when I found hardbacks (with great John Harris covers) at Half Price Books. I finally tracked down a used copy of this one recently so at some point I'll be getting around to reading them. I have high hopes, especially since McDevitt seems to hover around the awards categories a lot. This review encourages me.

Jim Black said...

I have 4 or 5 of McDevitt's books sitting on my "to be read" stack.