Mike's Reviews > Judgment at Proteus

Judgment at Proteus by Timothy Zahn
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's review
Jun 16, 12

bookshelves: favorites, science-fiction
Read from June 09 to 14, 2012

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 Earth Frank Compton, his partner and half alien Bayta, and their few allies have been engaged in a constantly escalating secret war against the Mohdri, a telepathic parasite designed to be the greatest weapon of a long dead civilization that fell before getting to activate it. As Frank and Bayta traveled towards Fillian space, the one species they thought off limits for the Mohdri, they received two extremely unpleasant surprises: infected Fillies, and the revelation that the long dead civilization called the Shonkla-raa was not a distinct species but rather a genetic manipulation of the Fillies. And they've been brought back...

This is where Judgment at Proteus begins, and the story that follows expertly builds off of everything that proceeded. After the end of The Domino Pattern I was surprised to hear there would only be one more book in the series, but Zahn provides a fantastic conclusion here that never feels rushed. I won't get into plot details as spoiling anything would be a disservice, but it all worked wonderfully and I was enthralled from start to finish.

Everything is logical and well explained, but the best part is how often Zahn still managed to surprise me. A perfect balance of mystery and foreshadowing is achieved - I can't count the number of times I'd finally put something together only to instantly remember all the things that were in retrospect clues and think "I can't believe I didn't notice that sooner." I love that feeling when reading engaging, well layered stories and Judgment certainly fits the bill.

Zahn has saved the best for last here. Judgment at Proteus is a phenomenal end to an already impressive series.

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Quotes Mike Liked

Timothy Zahn
“I had a plan, all right, ... I was also pretty sure no one on my list of allies was going to like it.”
Timothy Zahn, Judgment at Proteus

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