I wish Tepper was a bit better at (or more concerned with) science. She says of the future Earth's "space elevators": "There's been some talk of buil
I wish Tepper was a bit better at (or more concerned with) science. She says of the future Earth's "space elevators": "There's been some talk of building more of them as ocean-based platforms, but the last time that was tried, a tsunami took it out." Please! Tsunamis don't work that way. At sea, you're unlikely to even notice the wave. It certainly will be smaller than many "rogue" waves. But I have to keep forcing myself to remember Tepper really doesn't write SF, she writes a kind of pseudo-scientific Fantasy. Which I generally enjoy, but every now and then she has characters do things (or makes explanations like the above) that just don't make any sense.
Having said that, I really enjoyed this story. The characters—even as seven fragments of one original—were believable and engrossing. The plot was a little predictable, but not so much as to be boring, and the conclusion satisfying (though I could have done without the pseudo-scientific explanation).
It is, perhaps, a little too easy to suggest that humanity is as bad as it is because early in our species' development we pissed off an alien race, and they excised an important part of our brains. But there must be some reason why so many of us are such unmitigated bastards, and most of the rest can't stand up for their own principles.
I'm not entirely sure why I love Benny Griessel. The broken-down old alcoholic detective is a seriously overused trope, but I still can't get enough o
I'm not entirely sure why I love Benny Griessel. The broken-down old alcoholic detective is a seriously overused trope, but I still can't get enough of Benny.
Partly, it's because he's aware of his failings, and trying to get beyond them. Partly it's because he clearly is a good cop, a good man, and good father—though he's not always been all of those together.
As the story begins, Benny's current love-life is in a period of stress. He loves Alexa, and clearly she loves him, but he has a problem with … performance. So, a new major case is a perfect chance for him to throw himself into his work and avoid the personal issues
The case involves assassinations, kidnapping, spies, multiple foreign governments, and rogue elements within his own South African government. Benny is in his element. Along the way, the case involves his current partner, Vaughn Cupido a "coloured" with a totally understandable racial chip on his shoulder; his boss the "Giraffe"—a former spy himself; Mbali, a Zulu woman who is the subject of immense prejudice within the police force both because she's a woman, and because she's fat; and a whole cast of equally interesting people.
For the first time in four books, Benny actually gets all of his colleagues working together. Racial tensions must be a problem in any large metropolitan police force, but in South Africa, where for most of the last century the government was actively trying to increase the tension between races , it can only be worse. So this story is as much about teaching the cops what it means to be the upholders of Law, as it is about solving a crime.
In the end, as with the other books in this series, the crime is solved, and the problem of crime is not diminished one iota...
For all my favorite people at the Musquodoboit Harbour branch of the Halifax (Nova Scotia) Public Library, p. 113 says it all: LIBRARIAN: Good morning!For all my favorite people at the Musquodoboit Harbour branch of the Halifax (Nova Scotia) Public Library, p. 113 says it all: LIBRARIAN: Good morning! PATRON: It's always nice to see your smiling face. You must be on the good drugs.
152 pages of laughs (and a few happy tears) about the things that happen in libraries....more