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#9 L E Modesitt, Jr.: The Octagonal Raven - Off in the distance
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The Bellinghman
Date: 2006-03-01 22:14
Subject: #9 L E Modesitt, Jr.: The Octagonal Raven
Security: Public
Tags:books, reviews
L E Modesitt, Jr.: The Octagonal Raven

Paperback: 480 pages
Publisher: Tor Science Fiction (July 14, 2002)
ISBN: 0812570081
Category(ies): Science Fiction

It's a shame about Modesitt. He (I believe the author is a man) has interesting ideas, but he just doesn't seem to be able to create realistic characters. And though there are few writers who can combine the best of characterisation, the best of world building, and genuinely original ideas, this book mostly fails on the first, does reasonably well on the second, and retreads important but well worn themes in the third.

The hero, Daryn Alwyn, is the non-conformist offspring of a powerful media family. He's got the best genes money can buy as well as a superior education and implanted nanites (a self-reproducing nanotech equivalent to protective cells, which can not only fight diseases, but even bond to ward off a laser). So he's pretty privileged, and a member of a small elite, of an oligarchy in effect. But despite being a former space forces pilot not at all interested in politics, a number of attempts are being made to kill him.

In the end, he has to come to terms with his position in the world and find a just, political solution. Which, being a Modesitt novel, he does.

In general, intelligent, even worthy, brain candy.
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