The Trilisk Ruins
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The Trilisk Ruins (Parker Interstellar Travels #1)

3.4 of 5 stars 3.40  ·  rating details  ·  339 ratings  ·  44 reviews
Telisa Relachik studied to be a xenoarchaeologist in a future where humans study alien artifacts but haven't ever encountered live aliens. Of all the aliens whose extinct civilizations are studied, the Trilisks are the most advanced and the most mysterious. Telisa refuses to join the government because of her opposition to its hard-handed policies restricting civilian inve...more
Published October 1st 2011 by Michael McCloskey (first published December 21st 2005)
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Excellent. Well conceived and well written. (Could have used one more review by a human editor.)

I love well-done first contact books. And this is that.

One criticism of all first contact books: even the good ones like this agonize through the initial contact/ relationship/ communication, then rush forward as if all issues of context and language magically disappear. I suspect--super-intelligent aliens and computers notwithstanding--it won't be so.

It ends like the hook for a longer series, but it...more
After enjoying a few of McCloskey's other titles, I figured I should take a look at what seems to be his most popular novel. It's not bad, but to be honest I preferred the others.

It starts out OK enough, following an alien later nicknamed "Shiny." And the one thing really done well is that the alien isn't anthropomorphized at all - making aliens humanoid with a few tweaks in appearance and culture is, alas, something most sci-fi is all too guilty of. Shiny isn't like that at all, and (view spoil...more
I found this book by clicking an ad on a webcomic site.

It had its moments of interesting scifi. The aliens were nicely done but the humans were a bit flat. For most of the story they didn't seem to have a coherent goal other than to survive, and (when survival was not an immediate problem) to poke at alien artifacts with sticks.

(view spoiler)...more
Quite awesome. I stumbled on it from a web comic I read and it seemed interesting.
It was a little slow to start but got so intriguing I could not put it down. I even got distracted from adding it to my reading shelf.
The second one is looking just as awesome.
The aliens and tech are well though out and there is actual science.
Well worth a read if you like that sort of thing.
Brett Roller
My new-found interest in Kindle-based sci-fi novels is leading me to tackle books I never thought I’d touch. A friend of mine had a mom who was obsessed with science fiction novels when we were kids. They had this really neat library balcony type thing and it was full of dime store novels in which the captain always looses his shirt in fights and runs off with the alien girl. At the time I thought it was all cheesy to the extreme. I held a similar view of tv shows in the genre until my brother g...more
Steve Poling
I thing Michael McCloskey gets the balance right in "The Trilisk Ruins" (5 stars). The gubmint is the antagonist and it doesn't matter whether the administration is Republican or Democrat. (Both parties signed onto the USA PATRIOT Act after all.) The heroes are "criminals" who aim to misbehave. They spend a fair amount of time when they're in civilization scrubbing logs of incriminating evidence and bribing bureaucrats to overlook minor infractions. And they find the Feds like to infect everyone...more
D.M. Dutcher (Sword Cross Rocket)
An interesting alien can't really save a pedestrian book. Telisa is an xenoarcheologist answering a job offer that turns out to be for a smuggling corp. She accepts, and goes with them to a planet that is rumored to contain Trilisk ruins. But the United Stations Space Force is also there, and smuggling is a death sentence when caught. The smugglers, the UNSF, and a marooned alien must deal with the puzzle of the ruins, a shape-changing facility that might be more of a prison than an archeologica...more
I've gotta tell you, I nearly didn't make it past the first page. Chapter one, paragraph one: Telisa checking herself out in a mirror and describing herself to the reader in some detail. I sighed and nearly put it down right there, but talked myself into continuing because this was a book about space archaeologists. I'm happy to report it did get better from there, which I suppose says something about first impressions, but since that's not really what we're here to dissect, we'll skip over that...more
I found The Trilisk Ruins to be an interesting start to a story. The author didn't focus too deeply on trying to explain the science of what was going on. And in some aspects it felt a little rushed, but overall I would say that I did enjoy the story.

The story focuses around Telisa Relachik, a Xenoarchaeologist in a time frame where Earth is being run by an oppressive government that appears to have grown out of the United Nations.

The United Nations Space Force controls everything that happens o...more
J.L. Dobias
Jun 26, 2013 J.L. Dobias rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: SFF and adventure fans
Shelves: book-shelf-11
The Trilisk Ruins(Parker Interstellar Travels #1) by Michael McCloskey

Trilisk Ruins is a nice entertaining Science Fiction.

At first I thought I was headed into yet another so so spy action thriller disguised as a Science Fiction novel. It really seems that way through the first half. Even to the point where they were trapped in the cheesy alien building with the shifting walls I was still thinking this was only mildly interesting. What saves it all for me was when Kirizzo's part kicked in. The...more
Stuart Gathman
Two things I liked: an attempt to describe a truly alien psychology and thought process, and an interesting gun control idea.

The gun control idea is that guns of all types from hand guns to machine guns to bazookas are legal, provided they incorporate a government approved forensic device that records everything you shoot at, and uploads the data to government servers at every opportunity (and the 'net is everywhere on civilized planets). (I'm not sure the recording device would have shown anyt...more
Emily Leathers
Acceptable premise, fairly interesting plot, but I had a lot of trouble connecting with the story at more than just-a-story level. I enjoyed the characterizations of the aliens.

One thing that drove me a little crazy was the author's insistence on explaining that characters were accessing their link each time they stared off into space. It felt insulting that he didn't expect me to be able to remember that, and it broke up the flow of the narrative. If he really thought it was going to be that ha...more
Daniel Lemire
In the Trilisk Ruins, Michael McCloskey describes a far future universe where human beings have encountered alien ruins on diverse planets.
These ruins have obvious commercial values: alien artifacts are immensely valuable. Meanwhile, the government has restricted access to these ruins to its own military. The main character is a xenoarchaeologist who is frustrated by the lack of access to these new findings. She decides to embark with a bunch of pirates/mercenaries who hope to visit new alien ru...more
I wouldn't call this a literary masterpiece but it was a lot of fun to read. The characters aren't as developed as they could be but the situation they're in for most of the book still carries a lot of claustrophobic tension. The alien is one of the most believable ones I've read about too.
Wesley Obenshain
So... the writing in this book was bad. Really, noticeably bad. This was very noticeable from early in the book as the narrative lacked much in the way of description and the dialogue was stale; barely readable. Had this been intended as Young Adult fiction, the limited description, word choice, and dialogue might have been acceptable, but the sexual implications suggest that wasn't the intention. You might be wondering, then, why I gave it 4 stars. The answer is simple; I stopped noticing. From...more
Maarten Hofman
Although not as developed as the more profound Insidious, the Trilisk Ruins is easy to read and is probably McCloskey's most accessible book. It also has the benefit of being part of a series, in which the books really only get better, and due to their success, is likely to continue. Like all of McCloskey's books the Trilisk Ruins is professionally edited and available at a reasonably low price.
I really enjoyed this book, I found it by clicking a link down the side of facebook (not ordinarily something I ever take for a recommendation). Despite its dubious origin I quickly found myself absorbed and by the time I'd read the first three chapters I was off to order (and pay priority postage) for part two. The aliens are ALIEN, the human society is frankly fascinating, and the entire premise of the books leaves me curious for more.
A quick, somewhat enjoyable read. The best parts are when the narrative switches to an alien perspective. The alien minds are the most developed of the characters, even though we spend most of the story with humans.

Every sentence felt a little stilted and unnatural, grating slightly against one another, like a second draft. It's not a bad story, but it does seem as it could benefit from more polish.
Positively channeling Hal Clement for style, character types and overall tone, the author sets up a FIrst Contact between humans and a centipede-like, "Mission of Gravity" style alien within a strange ruin left by yet another alien species. Aside from an amateurishly done romantic subplot, not bad, not bad...credibly alien aliens, lots of futuristic and exotic tech, steady-on pacing.
Some judicious editing to remove needlessly, pointlessly, repetitively redundant content would have made this more enjoyable. It is a pity to need to lead with that comment, but readers should know that if they press on they'll be rewarded with an intriguing alien and some cool speculative science. The writing definitely improves as the story unfolds.
Saw this book in an ad, I think on a webcomic, and DLd it to my Kindle. I really liked this story! I felt maybe sometimes the characters seemed awk/stunted but the world building was compelling, and I love a good space adventure!
Dodie Reed
It is about a xenoarchaeologist becoming a smuggler and going on her first expedition. It is a very good read and I will be looking for more of his books.
Really liked it, especially the portrayal of the aliens. In most other books they are just monsters, animals or far too anthropomorphised.
I'm not sure how I got this book but I enjoyed it very much. Plenty of action and aliens.
D.W. Davis
An enjoyable sci-fi tale with some unexpected twists and turns to keep you turning the pages.
Michael Miller
Awesome Scifi, very fun, one of the best I've read and looks to be a great series.
Good development of the aliens but did not feel to attached to the characters.
A nice start to a potentially very interesting series.
Competent 99 cent pulp. That is a big compliment.
Sadie Forsythe
Hrmm, it was OK, I suppose. Not gripping, in fact I thought the whole thing fell a little flat, but I also wouldn't call it a disaster or drivel. It was just uninspiring. The main characters did a lot of running around, surmising their situation to each other, and remember things, but very little of significance actually happened. Not nothing, mind you, but not as much as you would expect for 300+ pages, most of which was useless description of stuff. The romance/sex was abrupt, pointless and ou...more
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I am a software engineer in Silicon Valley afflicted with recurring dreams of otherworldly creatures, mysterious alien planets, and fantastic adventures.

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More about Michael McCloskey...
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