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The Life of the World to Come (The Company #5)

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  1,050 ratings  ·  65 reviews
From idea to flesh to myth, this is the story of Alec Checkerfield: Seventh Earl of Finsbury, pirate, renegade, hero, anomaly, Mendoza's once and future love.

Mendoza is a Preserver, which means that she's sent back from the twenty-fourth century by Dr. Zeus, Incorporated - the Company - to recover things from the past which would otherwise be lost. She's a botanist, a good
ebook, 336 pages
Published November 1st 2005 by Tor Books (first published December 2004)
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This is my least favorite of the Company novels so far, even if it thoroughly, almost methodically, explains the mystery behind Mendoza's reincarnated doomed lover. The writing is quite good, often funny, but this just isn't my kind of story.

This one is set far in the future, only a few years before the mysterious silence is due to begin in the year 2355. I'm not enjoying Baker's depiction of the future nearly as much as I enjoyed reading about her immortal operatives living in the past. I disli
A word, first, on the publishing. Sometime between The Graveyard Game and this novel, Kage Baker switched to Tor. I am extremely grateful for that. The cover design is much sleeker, and there is a very definite style to the series covers from this point on, making it immediately obvious when you see the books lined up that they are, in fact, a series. The jacket descriptions, too, are much improved, as you can hopefully see from the one I included above. I just wish that Tor had the rights to th ...more
In tanti anni, non avevo ancora letto nulla che si potesse ricondurre solo ed esclusivamente al genere Fantascienza, quindi devo dire che sono rimasta parecchio sorpresa quando, proseguendo con la lettura di questo libro, mi sono accorta che mi piaceva tantissimo.
La Baker aveva un modo di raccontare davvero unico, mi sono ritrovata spesso al fianco di Alec mentre compiva le sue avventure, immersa totalmente nella storia. Per non parlare del fatto che tutto sembra così normale, tanto che mi aspet
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Lady Knight
This book of "The Company" series takes a departure from the usual characters and instead focuses on Alec Checkerfield, the third installment of Mendoza's lover. Mendoza is still being held prisoner in the Back-Way-Back when Alec, after stealing a Company time shuttle, comes crashing down in her corn field. Shocked and amazed, Mendoza nurses her erstwhile lover back to health and then gives him a crash course on Dr. Zeus. When he returns to the future, he finds that not only is she more than she ...more
Ron Arden
I was very confused in the begging of this book as it sorted through numerous characters, but it really began to move once the main character, Alec Checkerfield, went to London. It seems that Alec is slated to become the 7th Earl of Finsbury in England in the 24 century and has been abandoned by his parents to a wonderful estate. Alec is a very gifted child who has amazing potential in cyberscience. Because of this, he frees an AI cyberspace plaything that he dubs Captain Morgan, because he like ...more
Althea Ann
The 'Company' stories all deal with the idea that, in the 24th century, a company learns how to send people back in time. To creat agents for itself, it takes children of a part time period and turns them into immortal cyborgs, who work for them on missions such as saving 'lost' artworks and extinct species, hiding them safely so that they can be 'rediscovered' in the 24th century.
It's all very noble on the face of it, but as time goes on, the Company's motivations and methods begin to seem more
D.L. Morrese
This novel, which I think is the fifth in Kage Baker’s “Company” series (not counting a collection of short stories), follows the adventures of Alec Checkerfield. a hybridized human created by the Company for purposes that remained unknown, by him or the reader, until now. This selection is primarily about Alec’s search for who and what he is, aided by his AI companion, Captain Morgan. That he, or more accurately, one of his previous clones was something different was suggested in the first Comp ...more
Ward Bond
From Publishers Weekly

Baker's trademark mix of serious speculation and black humor informs this solid addition to her time-travel series that began with 1998's highly regarded In the Garden of Iden, in which the botanist Mendoza, an immortal female cyborg employed by the rapacious Company, fell in love with a mortal while on a mission in 16th-century England. Tragically, her lover was then burned at the stake. Later in the series, during the 19th century, she fell in love with another man who

I’ve been staggering my Company reads, because I’m all too quickly running out of them!

The Life of the World to Come is book number five out of a total of nine. Four more books! Just four! What else will I read when I’m done (ok that is a silly question, for there is so much more to read, even by the wonderful late Kage Baker herself).

Let’s have a quick look at that cover, shall we? Now that is an example of a really bad one. I would never pick up a book with a cover like that! It’s rather chees
This started off kind of meh for me, but then I grew to like Alec and the Captain and everyone else much more. Continues to develop overarching Company storylines but also resolved some big questions and raised others. I wish Kage Baker did more foreshadowing that could be picked up in hindsight - I love crazy cross book plotting.

Overall a fun installment. I think I liked In the Garden of Iden the best, then Graveyard Game . . . hmm.

Still reading the series!
Steven Bragg
This book is just not that readable, as it suffers from two flaws. First, the evil folks at Zeus who have been manipulating people for centuries turn out to be a group of bumbling twits. Hello, where did the dramatic tension go with that decision? Also, the computer mentor for the male lead has the personality of a five year-old drunk on pirate movies. Again, what was the author thinking? Instead of being drawn into a gripping story, it is hard not to wince.
The fifth book in The Company series.

I had my trepidations at first when hearing that the main protagonist of "The Life of the World to Come" was neither Mendoza nor Joseph (the only two 'leads' of this series so far). Instead, it would have been of a (technically) brand new character of Alec Checkerfield, the third 'incarnation' of Nicholas Harpole (from "The Garden of Iden") and Edward Alton Bell-Fairfax (from "Mendoza in Hollywood").

However, after completing the book (in one night), I'd hav
While not as quickly-paced as "The Graveyard Game", this book reveals the major mystery at the heart of The Company Series. I started reading the series after hearing "The Likely Lad" on the Starship Sofa and enjoy Alec as a narrator, just not as much as Lewis. We finally discover why Mendoza has her odd taste in men and Nicholas finally seems decent, but it is really only in comparison to Edward. Alec is the best of the lot. I wonder if their persuasive abilities meant they were chrome generato ...more
Book #5 in the Company series is way more fun than I thought it was going to be after I realized it focuses on the third incarnation of Mendoza's doomed lover. While the last book piled on question after question, this book finally provided tons of answers while still leaving plenty of mystery to look forward to.

Nicholas/Edward/Alec reminded me a bit of Dawn from Buffy; at first their existence requires a suspension of disbelief, but then it's revealed that they serve an important purpose that w
This is my favorite so far of the series, which I'm trying to read in order. I finally figured out -- these are not super standalone novels -- one has to be interested in reading the whole marvelous series to really get the story. I found this "installment" very satisfying and fun. She was a marvelous writer.
This is definitely a filler book, but I liked it because it answered so many unanswered questions raised by the earlier books in the series: I found out why they were warehousing the Enforcers, and why an apparently mortal man shows up more than once (as opposed to the regular immortals created by the Company). Lots more details pop up about the future society, also, where there are regulations about everything, and people can be hospitalized for very small infractions. I think the series needed ...more
Helge Moulding
The Company is a shady organization with the ability to travel through time. These stories concern they mayhem they wreak wherever they go.

"The Life of the World to Come" is book five in the series. It's actually quite readable stand-alone, which I did. In spite of the awful title, quite a good story. A bit of a slow start, but Baker is fun to read so it's not a problem. It concerns Alec, the seventh Earl of Finsbury, who is in fact a genetically engineered not-quite-human created by the Company
I finished this book today. I'm totally hooked into the series. I'd have gone nuts if I was reading these books as they came out. Where Book 4 would have been difficult to read as a stand alone book, this one would have been impossible. I know because as I read it I realized that I had tried to read it before I knew about the series.

The first time I read the book I was pulled into the story about Alex, and also the stories about the three men trying so hard to reenact the 20th Century. But none
Grayson Queen
The fifth book. Finally we're getting to see the what is actually happening in the massive plot. And a bunch of secrets are reveal, but not clearly.
Baker has shed some of her freshman writing habits... sort of. She still has a tendency to favor dialog over action. I was happy to see that she stop slipping in long bouts of soap-boxing, until I got to the end. It finally occurred to me that she's doing it intentionally. She purposely sets up her books to allow her the opportunity preach. In this c
Elliot Raff
Of the 5 Kage Baker "Company" novels I've read so far, this is definitely one of the very best - No spoilers but a must-read if you've read any others.
In this installment of Baker's "company" novels, the Botanist Mendoza once again encounters a man she's loved and seen killed twice before. This time, she's serving out a 150,000 year sentence on deserted Catalina Island off the coast of what will one day become Southern California, when her mystery man appears in a stolen time shuttle and plows into her cornfield. The novel answers many questions about this mystery man's origins and purpose, but leaves us still hungering for the final end to th ...more
This series is like a rubik's cube--every time you think you've got something figured out, another tile slots in the way, changing everything.

When you first meet Nicholas, you think of him as an incidental character, in a way--someone that shapes Mendoza, but firmly planted in his own time. Edward shook that up a bit, but Joseph actually gave a rather compelling explanation for his recurrence. But in this book, everything is turned on its head, and I'm not gonna lie--it kind of blew my mind.

I'm not enjoying this book as much. For one thing, it consists of fairly short or uneventful chapters that constantly switch perspectives. For another, although the ideas and characters are good, it's got excessive dull detail. There's a concept related to what Dr. Zeus is that is both somewhat ingenious and yet just depressing. In short, there's a lot of boring buildup and most of it is not as enjoyable as in the previous books. Still, the ideas are interesting and fairly original.
Nov 17, 2012 David rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Readers of The Company series
This book moved well into the future, close to the 2355 year beyond which the cyborgs have no knowledge of future events. I like the fact that the story is in third person, except for one chapter with Mendoza. The story advances the overall plot of the series significantly and fleshes out much more of the details on how the company functions.

The cyber characters are interesting. I hope the Captain and his nemesis play a fair sized role in the remaining books.
I felt that the first chapter was unnecessary and the second chapter could have been moved to a later point. I would have preferred to have The Life of the World to Come start with just Alex. I was hoping for more about Mendoza, Joseph, Badu, Lewis, and the others, but Alec's story was intriguing. I now hope to read about him some more even though the future world is quite depressing and Orwellian. Apparently, humanity is doomed to repeat our mistakes.
How did I now know about Kage Baker? She's so entertaining, and she has written so many books!I'm set with gym reading for the next three years.

Witty fantasy with decent diaglogue and controlled prose is tough to find. If you, like me, seek it out, you can't go wrong with Kage Baker's Company novels. They're not exactly tightly plotted; frankly they have enough loose ends to make a flapper dress. They are, however, so much fun that I don't care.
Molly G

So good I had to actually put it down and collect myself. More than once.

Maybe a more coherent review later. But probably not. Let the glory keep tumbling inarticulately through the brain.

Guess I'd review the first half 4 stars and the latter 5. But hell it's so thrilling, keep it at 5. So far, each individual book in the series is 3 or 4 in this star system, but together as a whole, out of 5, the sum of the whole is a solid TEN.
What I enjoy most about this series - the view of historical events from the POV of people of contemporary sensibilities, who know how it (basically) all turns out - is no longer an element in this series. And Joseph, my favorite narrator, is in this not at all, and Mendoza only barely. Not that I didn't like this book, but it's devolved (by plan, clearly) into more standard SF-cum-thriller. Oh, well.
Set in the modern day (23rd or 24th century) world of "The Company." Elaborates on the lifestyles of the future people for whom the cyborgs labour. Moves along the story of the reincarnated Nicholas/Edward. Very good story but, unlike previous novels, this is not a stand-alone story. Not much is actually resolved in this book. In fact, the primary plot of this story is carried on in the next book.
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Born June 10, 1952, in Hollywood, California, and grew up there and in Pismo Beach, present home. Spent 12 years in assorted navy blue uniforms obtaining a good parochial school education and numerous emotional scars. Rapier wit developed as defense mechanism to deflect rage of larger and more powerful children who took offense at abrasive, condescending and arrogant personality in a sickly eight- ...more
More about Kage Baker...
In the Garden of Iden (The Company, #1) Sky Coyote (The Company, #2) Mendoza in Hollywood (The Company, #3) The Anvil of the World The Graveyard Game (The Company, #4)

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“It was suitably like limbo to depress the spirits of an ordinary man, let alone one with Alec's problems.” 0 likes
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