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These books remind me of a mix of Sherlock Holmes and Indiana Jones thrown into a sci-fi setting. (A mystery story set in the future, with an antiquities dealer as the main protagonist.) In this universe the human race has been in space for about 20,000 years. In that time many ships, colonies and valuable items have gone missing. Alex Benedict, with the help of Chase Kolpath, specializes in finding missing and valuable items.
Seeker is the story of Margolia, a lost colony that disappeared long ago and has become a legend much like modern day Atlantis. One of the interesting concepts in the book, and McDevitt's writing, is the use of computer generated avatars of long dead people that are recreated through what is left behind and known of the person. In this case, Harry Williams the founder of the lost colony is used to help with the search. While he does not know where the colony is, or what happened to it, the avatar allows Benedict and Kolpath to get some unique perspectives on the colony and its foundation. In the end the avatar becomes a very sympathetic character.
This is a fun, quick book offers many twist and turns with a very satisfactory ending. Although it is the third book in Jack McDevitt's Alex Benedict series, these books can be read completely independent of each other.
33 of 35 people found this review helpful
Just finished listening to this a second time and enjoyed it just as much. Jennifer Van Dyck is the perfect narrator for Chase Kolpath.
If you want non-stop action, you are probably best off watching an action movie while sitting on your couch instead of listening to an audiobook while operating a moving vehicle. The suspense in this book builds up slowly and with convincing detail so that by the time Chase is fending off the villains, you are right there with her. And while the narrow escapes keep you on the edge of your seat, the actual puzzle that Benedict is solving (with Chase's sometimes reluctant help) engages your attention.
***A note on listening order*** There are currently 5 books in this series. Jennifer Van Dyck is the audio narrator for three of them: Polaris, Seeker, and The Devil's Eye. The order doesn't matter for Polaris and Seeker, but you should listen to Seeker before starting The Devil's Eye. All three are good listens, as is Omega from the McDevitt's other series.
Also, while the last book, Echo, has another narrator, McDevitt's website has the following information:
"The Tantor audio edition of Echo was inadvertently recorded using a male voice. It will shortly be available with a female narrator from Audible.com."
9 of 9 people found this review helpful
This is a sweeping story that takes inspiration from sources as diverse as Indiana Jones and Isaac Asimov.
The two main characters are well-drawn and engaging - especially the narrator, Chase - and the plot of historical mysteries in a future multi-galactic civilization is intriguing with a satisfying conclusion.
It is nice to read a sci-fi novel with a strong female lead - in fact, that recommendation was one of the reasons I chose this book. I also enjoyed the detailed but not over-thought scientific and social details of the future society. McDevitt has kept the differences fairly simple, with enough twists to keep the society fresh and interesting, and make you ponder the future of space travel and colonization of other worlds. However, if you are looking for a big space opera with lots of science and technical innovations, this is not it.
The narrator, Jennifer Van Dyck, does a great job, giving life to the two main characters and many of the peripherals. Her 'computer voice' seemed grating at first, but actually fits very well with the descriptions and feel of the scenes. Her characterisation of the male characters is not forced, and she differentiates the various characters well.
I am looking forward to the other books in the series.