Echo, by Jack McDevitt August 26, 2011Posted by stuffilikenet in Books, Brilliant words.
Echo is more of a whodunit than a science fiction story, although it does take place in a future with faster-than-light travel and at least one alien species known (but not much liked). It is the unlikely story, told from the perspective of his
secretary personal assistant , of an antique dealer (Alex Benedict) who gets the idea that a strange monument to be sold is an artifact of a yet-to-be-recognized alien race.
The antiquarian’s search for the provenance of the artifact has innumerable twists and turns, each but the last leading to a humans trying to discourage further searching: First, the last girlfriend of the original(?) owner, who tries to destroy the artifact, then her former employer, now a hugely successful entrepreneur and ambitious politician, then a retired survey pilot. The antiquarian’s search comes to a strange, tragic end, more truly frightening than the mere uncertainty of first contact.
I found Echo pretty interesting in a matter-of-fact sort of way; not riveting at all, but I did want to see where the puzzle was going so at least it didn’t bore me very much. It seems more like detective fiction to me, although I don’t have much experience with that genre. I’m not sure who the market is for this kind of work, but it seems to combine detective fiction with science fiction in a pleasant enough mix.
Apparently there are other Alex Benedict books as well, but I haven’t had the time (so many books, so little time).