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Judgment at Proteus
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Judgment at Proteus (Quadrail #5)

4.14 of 5 stars 4.14  ·  rating details  ·  444 ratings  ·  51 reviews
The climactic novel of the star-spanning Quadrail space opera

InTimothy Zahn's Judgment at Proteus, theQuadrail that connects the twelve civilizations of our galaxy has been the flashpoint of a battle for dominance fought mostly unnoticed by humankind. But Frank Compton of Earth, aided by the enigmatic woman Bayta, has fought on the front lines, using every bit of his huma
ebook, 416 pages
Published June 5th 2012 by Tor Books (first published 2012)
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Moses Operandi
My hipster friends turn up their noses at science fiction. They're missing out. Timothy Zahn's stories have enthralled me for years, and Judgment at Proteus is a fitting end to the absurdly enjoyable Quadrail series. I've really grown to like Compton and Bayta, and I'm glad they went out with a bang. That's a bit of a spoiler, but not too much. Enjoy.
David Erickson
Judgment at Proteus is the last in the Quadrail series, tales that span the width and breadth of galaxy.

Frank Compton, a human troubleshooter, is hired by the Chahwyn to escort a young and pregnant earth girl to another world where the inhabitants are masters at genetic manipulation. But this small task is itself fraught with danger and Frank has been secretly assigned to uncover the mystery of the Shonkla-raa, an insidious parasitic species bent on galactic domination. The Shonkla-raa had been
What Zahn promised in the first book, Night Train to Rigel, he delivers in Judgement at Proteus. A phenomenal conclusion to a roller-coaster ride of a series.
William Bentrim
Judgement at Proteus by Timothy Zahn

This is the final book of a five book series and I’m not sure it is the best because it is a better book or because it ties up everything so neatly. Frank Compton, galactic troubleshooter is back with his assorted sidekicks from all four previous books. He makes some startling discoveries and has to closely look at his alliances and enemies.

Frank is an engaging character who shows signs of being an somewhat inept James Bond combined with a somewhat more slick
An Odd1
"Space opera" on the cover means preceding complicated details, ponderous back story, impossible to spell, pronounce, or remember names, slow momentum to a crawl. Even a chase or fight scene is laid out step by step, good for choreographing a film, not for keeping tension high.

"Fear is a biochemical response that can be controlled or ignored .. hopelessness is a lie and an illusion. There's always hope.. Always" p189. Frank resists the prime method of his enemy's psychological warfare. The appe
Janet Sketchley
What’s worse than an alien hive-mind entity that plants itself in unsuspecting individuals and wants to rule the galaxy? Try the super-race that designed it and will turn it into a weapon to ensure galactic domination.

Judgment at Proteus is the final instalment in Timothy Zahn’s Quadrail series. The Quadrail is an interstellar train travelling a light-year a minute to connect far-flung solar systems, and Humans are one of the smaller (and newer) groups of life-forms that use it. But it’s a human
Jo  (Mixed Book Bag)
To quote the book cover Judgment at Proteus is “The climactic finale of the epic Quadrail series”. The quote is very true. This is book five in the series and I would not recommend it as a stand-alone. There is a lot of back-story you need to know in each of the books, a lot of history between the characters, and a very dense complex story line that weaves the action together in all of the books.

I think this is Space Opera at its best. Timothy Zahn has written a great story with wonderful charac
Kathy Davie
Fifth and last in the Quadrail / Frank Compton space opera series about Frank Compton and Bayta and their battle to prevent a galactic takeover.

My Take
Frank is so naughty---I love it---he reckons getting Doug and Ty used to table scraps and it not being appreciated is just one more reason to do it.

Zahn is not loathe to spring traps, create setups, and twist things around. I want to go back to the beginning of the series and read it all the way through in one sitting!

More dead bodies. More traps.
A satisfying ending to a great scifi series. Zahn had me at "trains in space" and I stayed for the exciting adventures of Compton, Bayta, and other great characters (McMicking!).

At a recent convention Zahn said that the Quadrail series was originally planned for six books but the publisher decided to end it at five. Fortunately this decision was made with enough time for Zahn to wrap up the series. He said the book had some pacing problems because of this, but he was glad to be able to end it ra
Steven Turner
I have been a Timothy Zahn fan since the first moment I picked up Heir to the Empire, the first of his Star Wars novels. So when I got the chance to read Judgment at Proteus, I was overjoyed. The Quadrail series finale does not disappoint. The Quadrail is an intergalactic train of sorts that connects the twelve civilizations of our galaxy. The story is an amalgamation of spy novel that happens along with a railway murder mystery as told by a Noir detective in a sci-fi setting. That seems like a ...more
Judgment at Proteus is the fifth and final book in Timothy Zahn's Quadrail series. While a complete story in it's own right, it draws on and ties up some many things from previous books it's extremely ill-advised to start here - go back to the beginning if you're new to the series (Night Train to Rigel).

** This review will not contain spoilers for Judgment at Proteus, but will have MAJOR ones for earlier books in the series. **

Over the course of the previous four books ex-military expert from Ea
Janine Tinsley
This book was a very fitting finale to the entire Quadrail series, with stakes increasing from the enemy faced in the first few books to what seems to be a much more malevolent threat. As always,I enjoyed the main characters which Zahn has developed over the series, particularly Frank and Bayta, of course, as well as the alien races and Quadrail system prevalent in these books.

But, for those of you who are considering whether or not to read this, I should next stop and say: DO NOT READ THIS STA
Timothy Zahn ends the Quadrail series with a taut, well-delivered story that really picks up the pace of the series. In fact, Books 4 and 5 should really be read back to back as they comprise a single story line with a meaningful plot twist. (Books 1-3 can be read separately.)

I'm not going to review the plot because, by now, you're either a fan of this series or you're not. In either case, what I say matters little.

Only two thoughts to close with:

1. This series continued to enhance my appreciati
Great conclusion to the Quadrail series. Nicely wraps things up with Frank, Bayta, the Modhri and the Shonkla'raa and ties together things from all the books in the series. Sadly I had forgotten some of the details in the other books but enough was written about them to jog my memory. It did make me want to go back and reread them all now that they're all out without the delay in between the books I experienced.

As with the whole series, I really liked the combo of old style detective story mixe
I love Timothy Zahn and I love how he writes mysteries with the characters always knowing more than the reader and twists aplenty. Generally they're quite well done and each is unique. I thought this was a great series overall and this book generally brought it to a conclusion. I thought some of the ending twists were a little strained and would have enjoyed an epilogue. For the series as a whole, sometimes it was well-paced, sometimes things dragged a bit, more than usual in Timothy Zahn.

But in
I suppose a book has to be given five stars in certain circumstances. Such as when your husband gets up a 4am, and instead of sensibly going back to sleep, you turn the light on and pick up the book because there are only 60 pages left. Or when you are so close to finishing that you carry on reading and are subsequently late for work, even though you work from home and your commute takes about five seconds, and technically nobody could see if you were sat at your desk reading (I would never even ...more
The Enemy of my Enemy is my friend, and my life long friends can no longer be trusted.
You have to like old film references to get this series, though. The whole series is carried out in a old school detective novel. Very fun!
Erik Dewey
A good conclusion to the "space train" series, as I call it. It starts out a little slow as the first half of the book takes place completely on a space station; no space trains. Still the mystery there is interesting and it has some great moments, especially the climatic confrontation.

From there they race across the galaxy trying to stop the great conspiracy. There are some revelations that are treated as huge, but ultimately I felt were a little over dramatic and Bayta seemed to be more in the
Fine ending to a great series. I really liked the two heroes all the way through, and it was good to see them trusting the other's judgment numerous times in this book. Climax seemed a little rushed to me.
Brian Palmer
Great finale to the series. This series moves away from the confined spaces and limited passengers of earlier novels to large scale confrontations, jetting investigator Frank Compton and his companion Beyta from space stations to planet surfaces, collecting the varied allies -- and enemies -- that he's encountered, in one fairly explosive final confrontation. As befits a SF detective novel, filled with (perhaps somewhat anachronistic) references to classic noir films of the 20th century, everybo ...more
Last book in a series I read for the Endeavour Award. I might actually like this series more if I read it from the beginning and not just the last two books. A galaxy wide hidden conflict between an interlocking set of psychic aliens with the humans to the rescue kind of. But some of the conceits I found bothersome - all the explaining - clearly outside the advice of the Evil Overlord List. The side references to human historical movies (especially Casablanca), whatever. Still, the ideas were go ...more
Jay Michaels
Timothy Zahn brings his five-part Quadrail saga into the last stop on the line. His characters are fallible but smart, his pacing is excellent, and he consistently manages to hook me in pretty short order.

Not everything always goes as main character Frank Compton plans, but he manages to "live to tell the tale."

If you haven't read anything by Timothy Zahn, you're just plan missing out. He consistently makes me wonder, "What's gonna happen next?", and always delivers a satisfying read.

August 1
Victoria Gaile
This is not his best series, but it's a reasonably entertaining read. It's not the sort of book where the reader can figure out what's going on ahead of time, because the main character never tells everything he knows. But at least, there is an in-plot reason for that to be the case, what with telepathic group minds and unknowing alien spies and all. I enjoy seeing what he came up with this time as the secret plans unfold.
Conclusion of space-train-thriller series with mind-control aliens and politics and plots and betrayals and -- ooh, everything. I've been hoping the author wasn't going to string out the story too far, and maybe it could have been three books instead of five, but no complaints; this is a satisfying finale. Unless you think too hard about all the tech constraints that are supposed to make the plot make sense. Don't do that.
This is the fifth, and final, book of the series. I've noted through the years that he writes well, but doesn't always finish strong. It is still an enjoyable book (I give most books three stars unless they force me to go up or down from three). My biggest complaint is the hero's dialog seemed to be the same in every scene, and there was a lot of dialog. I still recommend the series (including this book).
This is the last book in the "Quadrail" series that started with "Night Train to Rigel". I must say the entire series has been a real train ride, pun intended! I am sad to see the series end but as an ending this book could not have been better. I hope Mr. Zahn sees fit to bring back Frank Compton and Bayta in further adventures.
Bryan Schmidt
Amazing and perfect conclusion to a wonderful, engaging space opera saga from Zahn. Original with strong world-building and characters and a compelling through line. Picks up where the previous book left off and never lets up the whole way through. Well worth reading. But reading "Domino" first.
This is one of my favorite series, the style is just classic detective sci-fi, it's so well done. There were a few things that were done to wrap up the series in this book that were both questionable and cool, but nothing that takes away from the greatness of the series for me overall.
It had been a while since I'd read the fourth book in this quintilogy, so the beginning was a little difficult because there were a lot of references to it as the book got going. The middle and end of the book picked up though, and a it was a decent finish to this five book series.
A good ending to the series. My only regret was not re-reading book 4 in the series. It had been a long time since I read it and I found myself unsure of what some characters were referencing. Didn't really effect the story too much though. Everything tied together nicely at the end.
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Timothy Zahn attended Michigan State University, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in physics in 1973. He then moved to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and achieved an M.S. degree in physics in 1975. While he was pursuing a doctorate in physics, his adviser became ill and died. Zahn never completed the doctorate. In 1975 he had begun writing science fiction as a hobby, and he bec ...more
More about Timothy Zahn...

Other Books in the Series

Quadrail (5 books)
  • Night Train to Rigel (Quadrail, #1)
  • The Third Lynx (Quadrail, #2)
  • Odd Girl Out (Quadrail, #3)
  • The Domino Pattern (Quadrail, #4)
Heir to the Empire (Star Wars: The Thrawn Trilogy, #1) Dark Force Rising (Star Wars: The Thrawn Trilogy, #2) The Last Command (Star Wars: The Thrawn Trilogy, #3) Specter of the Past (Star Wars: The Hand of Thrawn, #1) Vision of the Future (Star Wars: The Hand of Thrawn, #2)

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“I had a plan, all right, ... I was also pretty sure no one on my list of allies was going to like it.” 3 likes
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