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I'm reviewing the entire trilogy because I have been able to read the 2nd book 'The Exodus Towers' along with this book all within a 2 month period of time. At the end of the 1st book it leaves the reader quite confused about what ET's have to do with the book as opposed to just laying down the major players within the series. The 2nd & 3rd book I read in close succession & I believe that is what made this book so much more enjoyable for me than if I had to wait any extended period of time. Its a theory I'll never be able to test out but it was a major thought & concern that can't be answered because the author released all 3 books quickly in literary terms.
This book started out as a relatively average book in the 1st but the last 2 ended as a tour-de-force by touching on not only the most important part of the sci-fi portion of this series, First Contact, but it also brought out the basic rules of the primal laws of nature. Now apply human laws that apply when there is a complete breakdown of a prior civilization & those who are intelligent, resourceful, & ruthless enough to lead or show how the strong survive & the meek DO NOT inherit the earth.
A great twist on the 'human nature' side of this book is a problem our country still has not understood nor mastered how to handle a leader in power who is found to contain traits making them persona non grata to those that see their 'true colors'. If u remove this person who is to say the next person to step up is not even worse than the original once the façade is ripped away?? I think our CIA can still attest to making huge mistakes in deciding short-term decisions without thinking about long-term effects. In the beginning of this book a plague breaks out that kills off 9 billion humans & leaves a group of survivors to figure out how to try & live again while having these strange alien artifacts that point to a larger event happening in the near future.
The 'First Contact' portion of this book I cannot say is completely original but I can def. say that if a reader likes puzzles, the use of a people willing to sacrifice for the whole, & how that would play into the background of first contact with another alien race, this is a book for u. Not only do our established protagonists go thru the 'normal' problems facing a population reduced to mere shambles of its prior form, the characters are also thrust into figuring out apparent puzzles the aliens have made for them that aren't the kind u would like to play willingly, think Indiana Jones & not Monopoly lol. All the while u have the most traditional set of principles to explain the unexplainable humans seem to love using... RELIGION. Now don't get me wrong, this book is in no way a theologian story, but for a person who see's organized religion as not the best thing that happened to humanity it was bound to grab a large population of survivors due to one of the purest of human traits, Faith.
These books brought a successfully equal amount of action, drama, metaphysical, & plenty of trials requiring human nature related thinking to SURVIVE. The ending was also above average considering when u get thru book 2 most readers are probably thinking 'how is the author going to wrap this clusterfu*! up in a bow?' & not make the reader cringe or say 'COME ON!! WTF, I READ ALL THIS JUST TO END INTELLECUALLY IMPAIRED?!'.
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If you could sum up The Plague Forge in three words, what would they be?
Anti-climax, fun , diverting
What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)
Finding out that Hough has a background in computer games really makes sense of the direction this final book in the series played out.
What about Simon Vance’s performance did you like?
Vance's slightly world weary delivery for the characters and the slight but effective characterisation.