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Judgment at Proteus (Quadrail #5)

4.19  ·  Rating Details ·  648 Ratings  ·  62 Reviews
The climactic novel of the star-spanning Quadrail space opera

In Timothy Zahn's Judgment at Proteus, the Quadrail 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 hu
ebook, 416 pages
Published June 5th 2012 by Tor Books (first published 2012)
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Moses Operandi
Jun 16, 2012 Moses Operandi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jun 06, 2012 Michelle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
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.
Kathy Davie
Aug 23, 2012 Kathy Davie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, action
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.
An Odd1
Jun 02, 2013 An Odd1 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
"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
Janine Tinsley
Jan 14, 2013 Janine Tinsley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, favorites
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
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
Mar 04, 2012 Mike rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Steven Turner
Apr 16, 2013 Steven Turner rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
John Loyd
Apr 07, 2015 John Loyd rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Judgement at Proteus (2012) 513 pages by Timothy Zahn.

Fifth book in the Frank Compton/Quadrail series. Fast paced action. Frank gets put into danger time and again pulling himself out of trouble never able to use the same trick twice. He doesn't know who to trust other than Bayta. Especially since his allies can be manipulated to divulge his plans.

In Mighnight Train to Rigel we learn that the Modrhi is a genetically engineered weapon--a microscopic entity that enters a body and then grows and is
David Erickson
Jan 24, 2014 David Erickson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Aug 17, 2013 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jesse Whitehead
As the end to a five book series this is a pretty good conclusion. It’s got all the Zahn markers in it with big reveals and intricate schemes and intelligent good guys who are extremely clever.

The previous books in the series were each individual mysteries in the form of science fiction stories with a galaxy spanning railroad system. There was an over-arching plot along the way that developed slowly, in fact it developed at a pace that left me wondering if it was possible to end the story in one
Jun 01, 2012 Nancy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
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
William Bentrim
Sep 22, 2012 William Bentrim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 25, 2012 Wendy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, 2012-reads
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
May 16, 2013 Matthew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
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
Apr 27, 2013 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-book, fiction-sf
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
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
Erik Dewey
Oct 15, 2013 Erik Dewey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jay Michaels
Jun 22, 2012 Jay Michaels rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
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
Joe Slavinsky
Jan 16, 2016 Joe Slavinsky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rousing possible finish to the "Quadrail" series? Space opera at it's finest. Zahn really outdoes himself, in this 4th book of the series. Great pace, characters, and a twisting plot, with a fairly serious wrap up of the major threat to the universe. Super Agent Frank Compton, and his partner Bayta, are relieved of their duties to the "Spiders", and are headed to Earth, at the end. Happy to be together, and seeking employment. Is this it for our intrepid heroes? I get that distinct impression, a ...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
Jun 29, 2012 Andrew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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.
Jun 28, 2012 Jim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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).
Julie Defilippi
Mar 14, 2015 Julie Defilippi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The rate at which I read a book is usually a good indicator for me of how much I am enjoying the story. I am loving this series. Again, it is great that Bayta has more of a primary character role and their relationship is a great additional aspect. The role of the Mohdri has also changed and it is a great plot twist.
Jun 15, 2012 Michael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jun 02, 2016 Starsreader rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent series, super fun and remains light throughout.

The finale does not live up to the other books in the series. That said, I still rate it an outstanding 5 based on the fact that the entire series is a good read and that this dos tie up the story well.
Aug 09, 2014 Darren rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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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)

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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.” 4 likes
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