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Seeker (Alex Benedict #3)

3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  4,137 ratings  ·  242 reviews
With Polaris, multiple Nebula Award-nominee Jack McDevitt reacquainted readers with Alex Benedict, his hero from A Talent for War. Alex and his assistant, Chase Kolpath, return to investigate the provenance of the cup. Alex and Chase follow a deadly trail to the Seeker - strangely adrift in a system barren of habitable worlds. But their discovery raises more questions than...more
ebook, 384 pages
Published May 1st 2008 by Ace Books (first published 2005)
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Feb 18, 2009 Michael rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Drooling idiots.
This was the Nebula Award winner for 2006, so I thought I'd be in for a treat. The premise sounded pretty good: 9,000 years in the future, two antiquities/salvage experts find a relic from a lost colony ship which leads to big adventure and lots of danger.

There are a lot of cool ideas about future technology. I especially liked the avatars of famous historical persons, assembled from all available data on the net. The alien-relations the humans have with the "Mutes" is fairly interesting — Human...more
Hugo Ortega
I stumbled onto this book when going over a list of Nebula Award winners. I must say as a sci-fi story it plays differently then most of the other books in the genre. It's a mix of Indiana Jones with Marco Polo set in the distant future. It's a "lost civilization" story where the main characters are treasure hunters looking for rare items from the distant past. The story takes place 10,000 years into the future; humans have been traveling in space for so long that space faring civilizations have...more
Seeker is the most original, interesting, and thoughtful of the Alex Benedict novels. Like the others, so long as you don't take it too seriously, you can have some fun reading it. I give this one four stars (instead of three like the others) because it has some really cool, original ideas woven in.

I'm not a big McDevitt fan, but I like the Alex Benedict novels. They're reasonably well crafted. Just think of this book as a little "roughage" for your mind.
Mar 04, 2010 Tamahome rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mystery/hard sf fans/fans of strong female characters
3.5 stars. Pretty good. Along the way I was wishing for more action, like in Engines of God, but the ending is really good. McDevitt has an above average amount of humanity in his books, and that kept me going.
Nancy Oakes

Seeker is a book of speculative fiction that will appeal to you if you're not into hard-core science fiction, and if you are a reader of mysteries. McDevitt has combined both into a story that begins with the discovery of a cup bearing some "English" letters, which antiquities dealer Alex Benedict and his partner Chase Kolpath trace back to a long-lost ship called Seeker. To be very blunt, Benedict and Kolpath plunder what we would consider archaeological sites and sell what relics they come acr...more
First of all, this is the most entertaining science fiction novel I've read in ten years, since I discovered the Hyperion Cantos. I have read quite a bit of scifi, and this is among the best of the best. I honestly do not understand why there are not more five star reviews.

Here's why I loved it. It takes place in ten thousand years but it ascertains that human beings will be largely the same. History gets lost the older you go back. Lessons from history are still the same. Mystery begets interes...more
Great mix of sci-fi, mystery and adventure.

Thes book remind me of a mix of Sherlock Holmes and Indiana Jones thrown into a sci-fi setting. (A mystery story set in the future, with an antiquities dealer as the main protagonist.) In this universe the human race has been in space for about 20,000 years. In that time many ships, colonies and valuable items have gone missing. Alex Benedict, with the help of Chase Kolpath, specializes in finding missing and valuable items.

Seeker is the story of Margol...more
I listened to the audio book, don't do that. The woman who reads this is terrible. There is no drama in her voice. She differentiates the different women characters by making them more or less breathy. That's just too much for me to stand.

I cannot believe this is a Nebula Award winner. At first the plot was fairly interesting, although there is a ton of info-dumping going on. But it kept going long past when it should and the ending was unfulfilling. Plus there is bad science.

I don't have the pa...more
Daniel Shellenbarger
Seeker is actually the third book in Jack McDevitt's Alex Benedict series, but I picked up "A Talent for War" (book 1) some time ago and couldn't build any interest before putting it down and my library didn't have "Polaris" (book 2), so when the urge took me to give McDevitt another shot, Seeker is where my attention landed. Anyway, the basic premise is that protagonist Alex Hunter and his assistant/narrator Chase are antiquarians (grave robbers if you prefer) in the far future (ca. 10,000 A.D....more
Toby Udstuen
This is book three of the Benedict series. All the Alex Benidict books are set about 10,000 years in the future. So when one of Benedict clients come to him with a cup that came from a colony ship lost 9,000 years ago Alex sits up and takes notice. How did the cup get back to the known worlds? Where was the 9,000 year old ship it came from? Did the ship make it to it's mysterious destination? Is there a colony there now? These are the question Alex and his partner have to answer.

A Talent for War (Alex Benedict, #1) by Jack McDevitt Polaris (Alex Benedict, #2) by Jack McDevitt Seeker (Alex Benedict, #3) by Jack McDevitt The Devil's Eye (Alex Benedict, #4) by Jack McDevitt Echo (Alex Benedict, #5) by Jack McDevitt
Did I tell you I finished the book "Seeker" by Jack McDevitt? Well... I did. It was a lot like "Polaris" and I liked both.

It's called "An Alex Benedict Novel" and certainly Alex is one of the main characters, but the entire novel is written in the first-person perspective NOT through Alex but through his lovely assistant, Chase Kolpath. As in Polaris, she does most of the work, though clearly she is only doing it because she is Alex's employee and he told her to do it, but she uses initiative an...more
Apr 24, 2008 Gloria rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Sci-Fi readers who like normal characters
Recommended to Gloria by: Genreflecting
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy
Similar to the familiar idea of searching for Atlantis, this novel's characters are searching for the lost civilization of Margolia. I'd just made the association that the main character and his assistant had a similar style and relationship as does Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson when I happened to glance at the book flap where I read that this novel is "a classic-style investigative tale with Alex serving as an amateur-sleuth Holmes and Chase as Watson." I guess this is testimony that my impres...more
An interstellar archaeological mystery, Seeker is the story of an antiquities dealer and more importantly, his assistant. A shady woman brings them an artifact she wants to sell, and as they track down the item's provenance, they stumble on to a larger mystery surrounding a lost spaceship and the people on board.

This is plot-driven science fiction in the Niven tradition - characters are given some development, but there is no question they're secondary to the plot. Fortunately the plot is engag...more
Julie Davis
As with Polaris (Alex Benedict #2) there is plenty of actual science fiction to go with the mystery that antiquities dealer Alex Benedict is determined to solve. Although it seems to me that these really should be called Chase Kolpath #2 since she is the narrator and seems to do most of the work.

As in the other McDevitt books I've read, the storyline is fairly straight-forward and pulled me through by dint of action and interesting discoveries. I actually was surprised by the villain in this on...more
Another excellent far-future interstellar archaeology novel in the Alex Benedict/Chase Kolpath series. I was particularly struck with the number of convincing characters that are introduced, and the large number of events that transpire; there's a big, sweeping epic contained in an average length novel. Another nice trait is that McDevitt doesn't explain everything that happens; he leaves it up to the reader to fill in some of the blanks, which is refreshing and occasionally challenging. This is...more
This is the first book in this series that I've read - so I'm coming in right in the middle. I don't think that's a big problem with this series, though. I'll be looking for the earlier and later books in this series, and for other books by McDevitt, for that matter. The future he envisions is pretty interesting, showing a somewhat familiar world set 15,000 years in the future. The main characters are antique/treasure hunters - they look for remnants of lost civilizations, colonies, ships, etc....more
Stayed up late to finish this book, which was a refreshing reminder that good science fiction doesn't need to be about the size of explosion futuristic weapons can accomplish. I'm not conversant enough in the genre to situate it as "golden age" or "high science fiction," but I would say that it is elegant in its execution. The space travel and astrophysics seem grounded in reality (again, I'm no expert), but the real treasure in this book is that the social impacts of both philosophy and technol...more
Matthew Hester
You can always tell the difference between a good book and a terrible one.
When an author can spend 150+ pages explaining the arduous efforts of a character researching the history of a cup, and you find yourself absolutely enthralled, you're reading a good book.

I've read novels that peg themselves as grand, epic space operas, where I couldn't even care one iota about a single character or story point.
Those were not good books.

This one was. Who knew a cup could be so interesting?

John Sorensen
I was not a fan of this book.

Whenever Chase Kolpath (the main character)needed to find someone/something, regardless of how many decades old it was or where, she found it in like 1-2 minutes. It got a little annoying as it happened through the entire book. The "science" part of the Science Fiction was a bit on the ridiculous-side. Chase Kolpath, needs to perform a calculation. Another character says something like, me I’m no good with mathematics. Then Chase says basically, Computer run the cal...more
I'm kind of torn between three stars and four stars but it kind of grew on me so I will give it the benefit of the doubt. Nice ending, even if you could see it coming.
Servius  Heiner
An interesting concept. However the author seems to have used this book as a study in anti-climatic writing. A work of what not to do. .
I like McDevitt, sci-fi about archeology. This was the first of his "Alex Benedict" character books that I had read, though I did a bunch of his other series about Priscilla Hutchins. It's set way in the future (like 15,000 years!) but people are still strangely very 20th century modern in their behavior and conversation (obviously translated from some future language!)
Whatever, the characters may read like a modern film, but the mystery/archeology/lost civilization thing are fine in any time pe...more

A decent novel by Jack McDevitt, won a Nebula and all that. But what about the story?

This is an Alex Benedict novel, the second in a series, which I started first. Yeah, that’s me. I completed the Hutch series of books and wanted to continue with McDevitt in a similar universe, but 9,000 years later, when space travel is easy and “warping” (my word) to distant places is as easy as taking a boat across the Atlantic.

Plots and Contrivances:

Benedict is a treasure hunter and with his aide Cha...more
Oct 28, 2009 Cal rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Absolutely everyone
I was introduced to Jack McDevitt when my spouse picked up [u:]A Talent for War[/u:] at the bookstore about eighteen months ago and didn't have time to read it before I ran out of new books and picked it up; I have devoured everything he's written voraciously since then. I prefer the Benedict books to the Hutchins books; Priscilla is kind of a whiner while Alex is a badass capitalist, and he twigs as kind of a warm and fuzzy David Xanatos-lite. Also, space mysteries. What's not to love?

A good example of what I like to call archaeology science fiction. I confess I read this out of order, not realizing it was third in a series of books about Alex Benedict, the antiquities expert. It doesn't seem to matter, I enjoyed it to the hilt. Told from the POV of Benedict's assistant Chase Kolpath, the story spins out from the discovery of an ancient cup that leads our characters to believe evidence of an Atlantis-like civilization may exist out in the universe. The Margolians are a group...more
This is a sequel to Polaris. We meet Chase Kolpath and Alex Benedict, antiquities finders/dealers extraordinaire, once again chasing after a missing ship which in turn becomes a search for a missing colony. After reading Polaris, Seeker was a little predictable: Alex manages to have the correct hunches about skimpy leads and they lead him to spectacular finds, danger, and the wrong people trying to kill him and his partner.

In this episode, Chase has to run down some leads on a truly alien world...more
Michele (Mikecas)
Da: ..... Questo Seeker � non solo leggibilissimo, ben scritto e logicamente molto ben costruito, ma ha alle spalle la costruzione di una societ� del lontano futuro molto ben pensata. Il tema centrale di tutta la serie � l'archeologia spaziale, che permette all'autore di intervenire su fatti molto pi� vicini a noi, e dare la sua visione di come e di perch� la societ� umana ha fatto tutti gli errori che ha fatto La struttura del romanzo � quella di un thri...more
Seeker is an interesting book that I would recommend to anyone who loves detective and science fiction genres.

Being a fan of science fiction, I think I've been spoiled by the fact that most of my science fiction comes to me from video games and movies, and that's led me to expect a lot of action and explosions. Seeker certainly does have those elements, but does not rely on them to be interesting. Instead, it offers mysteries that unfold via researched clues and testimonials of humans, aliens,...more
The premise of this book was interesting--the search for a 9,000 year old space ship and a lost civilization. Unfortunately I never totally connected to the characters. This is the third book in the Alex Benedict series and I haven't read the first two but the book was told in first person by Alex's assistant, Chase Colpath. Alex seemed almost a minor character, except when he comes in and takes all the credit for Chase's hard work.

I think my problem with the characters is that they are in fact...more
This was a little Sci-Fi break from more serious stuff. But it still had a few interesting thoughts about human nature, human evolutionary potential (in terms of evolution away from behaviors that cause war, suffering, dark ages, etc.), and the way passions can lead to very non-optimal outcomes (something that's very relevant in today's world.) It's a little slow, but only in that it's actually about searching/exploring, looking and finding - no massive space wars with lots of explosions.

Here ar...more
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Jack McDevitt is a former English teacher, naval officer, Philadelphia taxi driver, customs officer and motivational trainer. His work has been on the final ballot for the Nebula Awards for 12 of the past 13 years. His first novel, The Hercules Text, was published in the celebrated Ace Specials series and won the Philip K. Dick Special Award. In 1991, McDevitt won the first $10,000 UPC Internation...more
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The Engines of God (The Academy, #1) Eternity Road A Talent for War (Alex Benedict, #1) Chindi (The Academy, #3) Polaris (Alex Benedict, #2)

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“Human existence is girt round with mystery: the narrow region of our experience is a small island in the midst of a boundless sea. To add to the mystery, the domain of our earthly existence is not only an island in infinite space, but also in infinite time. The past and the future are alike shrouded from us: we neither know the origin of anything which is, nor its final destination.” 2 likes
“Drink deep the cup of life; take it's dark wine into your soul. For it passes round the table only once.” 0 likes
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