SpeculativeFiction


A Talent for War


A Talent for War is McDevitt's latest novel, this one beginning a new series. The main character, a dealer in antiquities, is bequeathed a large inheritance when his uncle, an amateur archeologist, passes away. Along with the inheritance comes a lead on a discovery of great significance. The trail leads straight to the legend of Christopher Sim, a legendary commander whose guerilla tactics bought time to unify the planetary Confederation into a single force to oppose encroaching aliens.

Buf if the evidence is true, Christopher Sim was a fraud.


McDevitt is nothing if not consistent. Once more we have an archeologically-grounded mystery that must be unravelled across interstellar space, with consequences that threaten disorder and warfare. Yet the mystery is fresh and new, and the search is well-handled.

The style is somewhat awkward, unfortunately. Minor characters sometimes have a tendency to fate out for chapters at a time, only to suddenly return leaving the reader trying to remember who they are. Action is somewhat sparse -- there are no huge space battles despite the subject of the investigation. This book is well worth it if you are already familiar with and enjoy McDevitt's work, and it will do fine as a starter book as well. However, it is nothing exceptional, and if you have a limited book budget looking elsewhere would be wise.

This entry was published Wed Dec 15 05:35:05 CST 2004 by Matthew and last updated 2013-08-15 10:58:27.0.

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