Firebird

Firebird

Book - 2012
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Forty-one years ago, the renowned physicist Dr. Christopher Robin vanished. Before his disappearance, his fringe science theories about the existence of endless alternate universes had earned him both admirers and enemies.

Now his widow has died and Alex Benedict has been asked to handle the auction of the physicist's artifacts--leading the public to once again speculate on the mystery surrounding Robin's disappearance. Did he finally find the door between parallel universes that he had long sought?

Intrigued, Benedict and Chase Kolpath embark on their own investigation as they follow the missing man's trail into the unknown to uncover the truth--a truth people are willing to kill to protect...
Publisher: New York : Ace Books, 2012, c2011
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9781937007805
Branch Call Number: Pbk SCI-FI MCD
Characteristics: 357 p. ; 18 cm

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Clarityfiend
Jul 21, 2017

A thorough waste of time. The first part of the novel mostly involves Chase going someplace, interviewing people about the disappearance of a maverick physicist years before, and learning little bits and pieces that don't seem to move the plot forward an iota. Over and over again. After slogging through the first seven chapters (100+ pages!) and waiting for something to, you know, happen, I gave up.

b
billmacrotarian
Feb 12, 2013

Firebird gets its title from the ballet by Stravinsky and is a solid entry in the Alex Benedict series. All novels are written in the first person with the narrator switched from Benedict to his assistant Chase Kolpath after the first novel. The formula is that antiques dealer Benedict investigates some ancient artefact and discovers a deeper truth. In all prior entries somebody tried to kill him to keep the secret. Firebird is a little different in that there are no human assassins after him although there is some death and destruction along the way.

Firebird has some interesting topics in it in the same way that Patrick O’Brian used to include discussion items in his Jack Aubry series, although McDevitt doesn’t go into the same depth. Still Firebird is a hard science fiction novel and well worth a relaxing read.

z
zipread
Jan 22, 2013

Firebird --- by Jack McDevitt. --- This isn’t just any ordinary piece of SciFi. That it is science fiction is true. And set so far in the future that it doesn’t even matter where or when. And some of the technology is unlike what we have today .Nonetheless, it is reassuring that the future, McDevitt’s version of it at least, isn’t going to be all that different from the present. McDevitts white-bread future will still have us watching the latest version of a Johnny Carson show and will still have a weather (or should that be weather’s) channel for who knows how many (parallel?) universes. But for the most part, that’s not what it’s all about. It’s all about finding ships that have gone missing. This isn’t McDevitt’s first novel. I hope it won’t be his last. This novel is peopled with real people. They actually have depth. And in spite of this being a science fiction novel, they are very real people. They live in a real world not one of plastic cut outs. There’s more mystery than adventure: no guns are fired, one missile is launched. There are no larger than life heroes. The heroes are almost understated. In fact, you wouldn’t even recognize them as such. So does the book grip you? Yes it does. Does it keep you wondering what’s going to happen next? You bet.

s
StephenB
Jul 05, 2012

Star Trek- like science fiction, in the sense that the galaxy of the future seems to be populated mainly by shallow middle class Americans. McDevitt can tell a story, but this isn't my cup of tea.

p
plunger
Mar 01, 2012

Seeker, Echo, these were events that shut out all else for a few days!
Yes, I've been worried because I may read them a little too fast--and I don't know an Alex Benedict novel from an Academy (Priscilla Hutchens) novel.
I think that I thought Priscilla Hutchins had Chase Kolpath's job as Alex Benedict's assistant.
Anyway, an antique dealer who might EVA to find artifacts, or perhaps discover the fate of an entire planet is the secret behind some odd bit of art?
The last one I remember quite like this was Tony Hillerman.
Hold on to your tickets to the future because the technical breakthroughs will come in time for a society that still remembers the Greeks (see: A Talent for War) and where history is still important enough to make Alex Benedict's life work with historical artifacts significant.

rowanquincy Feb 07, 2012

Generic SF. Didn't see any reason to read on after 50 or so pages.

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