Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Coming Home-Jack McDevitt

Coming Home
Jack McDevitt
Ace, Nov 4 2014, $25.95
ISBN: 9780425260876

In 11,256 C.E., most people are thrilled when a nine millennium old beginning of the space age relic is found; as much of them went missing when places like the Florida Peninsular fell beneath the sea.  When charismatic dawn of the space age archeologist (sans degree) Garnett Baylee recently died, he left behind an incomplete enigma in his home tied to the twentieth century mythological Apollo baby steps.

Pilot Chase Kolpath flies antiquities dealer Alex Benedict to Earth to investigate Baylee’s last find, but make no progress on locating the rest of Apollo.  Unable to be in two places at the same time, Alex places their search on temporary hold though the antiquarian fears the delay will prove costly and realizes his beloved father-figure Uncle Gabe Benedict will lecture him for risking an opportunity.  Instead the pair leaves to meet the interstellar vessel Capella, which disappeared eleven years ago with over two thousand passengers and crew on board including Alex’s Uncle Gabe.  Aware of three other lost ships recovered near Sanusar, but also knowing they have a short time before the Capella vanishes again; the Sanusar Recovery Force, Alex and Chase attempt to save those on-board. 

The seventh Benedict-Kolpath science fiction mystery is a fabulous far futuristic thriller though the adventures seem somewhat muted compared with the lead duo’s previous escapades (see Firebird and The Devil's Eye).  The two subplots engage readers in different ways.  The Floridian space age artifacts and whole state being under the ocean serve as a climate warning through an historiographical archeological looking back over nine millennia (mindful of the movie The Virgin President - Fillard Millmore); while the Capella return is a thrilling space time-warp rescue mission. 

Harriet Klausner

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