Monday, March 22, 2010
Seeker, by Jack McDevitt
Book 9 of My Old Man's Challenge.
This is a sequel to Polaris. We meet Chase Kolpath and Alex Benedict, antiquities finders/dealers extraordinaire, once again chasing after a missing ship which in turn becomes a search for a missing colony. After reading Polaris, Seeker was a little predictable: Alex manages to have the correct hunches about skimpy leads and they lead him to spectacular finds, danger, and the wrong people trying to kill him and his partner.
In this episode, Chase has to run down some leads on a truly alien world inhabited by a species that communicates via telepathy. The Mutes, as the more unpolitically correct humans call them, have insect-like characteristics and that combined with their abilities to sense human revulsion toward their appearance, make diplomatic relations with them complicated at best. How does one sneak into a museum exhibit to copy old computer files from a derelict human ship without the aliens not seeing exactly what you have in mind? If you knew everyone could see what you were thinking, could you control your thoughts?
A decent sci-fi novel without much in the way of profanity or other offensive material - PG if you want to label it in movie terms. You don't need to have read the previous books to enjoy the story, but as always, knowing the prior stories adds a little depth and allows you enjoy favorite characters like old friends.