Sunday, February 6, 2011

Emissaries from the Dead

Title: Emissaries from the Dead
Author: Adam-Troy Castro
Series: An Andrea Cort Novel, book 1
Genre: Science Fiction
Published: 2008

Recommendation: A fine space-opera with lots of plot twists.
Rating: 7.5/10

Summary: Andrea Cort gets sent to One One One, a world owned by AIs to solve two murders that occurred there. The world is hell for someone afraid of heights such as Andrea Cort and it's a heck of a political situation too -- with AIs engineering a new sentient species on this world and claiming an ownership of them. Now it's Andrea's job to discover the murderer who has started sending her death threats too.

Reactions: I picked up this book on a bookseller's recommendation. I've never heard of Adam-Troy Castro before, but apparently he's well known for his short fiction works. This is his first novel and it's certainly well-written for a debut.

Andrea is a pretty interesting character of the sort I enjoy. A tough, smart, capable woman that has some serious character flaws. She's pretty abrasive from the start and mishandles some situations, but at the same time pretty admirable for how she's handling herself. The plot is well-paced though we get some pretty big info-dumps in some places in particular on various character's backgrounds.

It's a fun read, following Andrea, who keeps digging up more mysteries than one would think possible. Her cognitive deductions and the plot twists keep the book interesting, but at the same time it's not always quite believable that she managed to just jump to that explanation given the facts presented earlier in the book. I appreciate the complexity of the mysteries and all the surprises, but towards the end I felt there were just a few too many of those and the last of them is a bit of a stretch.

Still, I think I will consider picking up another Andrea Cort novel in the future and I recommend it to you also if you enjoy a space opera/mystery thriller with lots of plot twists and tortured, misanthropic, but at the same time smart characters.

See also: If you liked this book, you might also enjoy Song of Scarabaeus by Sara Creasy.

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