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Seeker

(Alex Benedict #3)

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  6,516 ratings  ·  343 reviews
Thousands of years after an entire colony mysteriously disappears, antiquities dealer Alex Benedict comes into possession of a cup that seems to be from the Seeker, one of the colony's ships. Investigating the provenance of the cup, Alex and his assistant Chase follow a deadly trail to the Seeker-strangely adrift in a system barren of habitable worlds. But their discovery ...more
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published November 1st 2005 by Ace Hardcover
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Nirkatze I think you can. I'm currently reading Seeker (after reading A Talent for War and Polaris though), and each book so far has been very well…moreI think you can. I'm currently reading Seeker (after reading A Talent for War and Polaris though), and each book so far has been very well self-contained.

There are references to events in the previous books, but they are not central to the plot--and in each book your introduction to the world is immersive, not explanatory, so you don't miss out on that by skipping to this one either. You miss a little in the introduction of the two main characters, Alex and Chase, but it's mostly background, and nothing that would keep you from understanding and enjoying Seeker.

In fact, this is the first book to deal a mystery close to our own time, so there are more connections and references than the previous books.

However, I really really enjoyed the first two books, so I highly recommend reading them too! (less)
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Bradley
Mar 25, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good Grief. I just lost my review.

Here's a summary, alas.

'06 Nebula winner, equal parts Space Opera and Noir Mystery, but that really translates mostly into Future History Archeology, with a treasure-hunting bent, twists and turns, lots of interesting characters, and lost spacecraft and lost colonies.

Was I really happy about the last twist and the epilogue? Hell yes.

All this takes place about 10k in the future, but there's a legend of a lost colony gone 9k ago before the advent of FTL travel or
...more
Dirk Grobbelaar
It’s somehow difficult to qualify just why I enjoy McDevitt so much. His stories invariably have a long build up. Yet, I always end up enjoying them a lot. Perhaps it’s the big reveal mechanism that he so effectively employs. Perhaps it’s the fact that the Alex Benedict books are so hard to pigeonhole (Is it far future thriller? Is it Hard SF? Is it Space Opera? Is it archaeological mystery in space? Is it all of the above?). Perhaps it’s simply the fact that they feel so comfortable, like a pai ...more
Michael
Jan 07, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  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
Joe
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
Ian
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.
Hugo Ortega
Jun 14, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Melanie
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
Patricia
Jun 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Tamahome
Feb 26, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  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.
Jerry
Apr 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this some years ago and enjoyed it...and did the same this time as well!
Toby Udstuen
Apr 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
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
Joe A
Dec 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another great McDevitt story. I would have rated it higher, except the narrator's voice started to get to me in the last 1/4 of the book.
Lianne Pheno
Jan 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
http://delivreenlivres.blogspot.fr/20...

Ce troisième tome est toujours dans la même veine que les précédent et donc aussi sympa à lire et distrayant. Il a beau être le troisième tome, c'est le seul de la série qui a été traduit et il peut très bien être lu indépendamment des autres.

Le Seeker était l'un des deux vaisseaux qui ont amené les Margoliens vers leur colonie. A l'époque le monde n'était pas un bon endroit pour y vivre et toutes les autres tentatives de colonie précédentes avaient échoué
...more
Mike
Feb 25, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
It was ok but nothing in this book really needs to be scifi, it could be set in any time from the past to now. Just a detective story that happens to occur 10,000+ years in the future (although there is little that seems much different from now besides instantaneous FTL travel). Surprised to find out this was an award winner. Some of his other books are much better. 2 Brown Dwarf Stars
Tim Martin
Aug 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
_Seeker_ is essentially a mystery novel set in the far, far future. How far into the future? In this setting, humanity has been out among the stars for an astounding 15,000 years. Empires rose and fell, new religions, languages, and civilizations came and went. Dark Ages and Renaissances and new Dark Ages (three different ones apparently) have happened, with humanity on different worlds alternately turning towards the stars and then away from them for decades, centuries, millennia. Author Jack M ...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
Thomas DuCharme
Mar 07, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I've broken the unwritten golden rule; I didn't finish this book, and I'm writing a review anyway. All apologies.
I just don't get it. I've only read a few of McDevitt's books, and while I've loved some, I can't seem to get into the Alex Benedict series. I barely made it through the previous entry, Polaris. But Seeker seemed to be a fan-favorite, so I figured major improvements must've taken place between novels. Nope.
Here's the thing. I'm so far live the Academy (Priscilla Hutchins) series.
...more
Alex Shrugged
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
Cal
Oct 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  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?

[u:]Seeke
...more
Gloria
Apr 24, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Sci-Fi readers who like normal characters
Recommended to Gloria by: Genreflecting
Shelves: sci-fi
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
Donna
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
Angela
Jun 22, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Definitely an entertaining mystery, but this is a flawed work. For one thing, it's hard to believe that a civilization set so far into the future - a civilization with faster than light speed travel and contact with an alien civilization - would end up being so remarkably similar to our own. Since I've been reading Kim Stanley Robinson's 2312 (with its evolving culture set only 300 years from now) concurrently with this story, I found it a little hard to suspend disbelief. McDevitt's various pla ...more
Marcia
Sep 21, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sciencefiction
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
Phillip
Oct 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was my first introduction to Jack McDevitt and I must say since then I've read about 10 of his novels. Probably my favorite line of his, the Alex Benedict novels in which Seeker is I believe #3, involve both science fiction (future societies) and good old fashion detective yarns. A man who can start a plot over a murder about a porcelain tea cup in a future with star drive and all that goes with it has something going for him. Not to mention he writes first person female.
You want a break fr
...more
Craig
Aug 24, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Chris Jackson
Feb 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very old-school SF here, and in a very good way. Far future treasure hunters seek a lost ship and the equally lost colony of emigrants that left earth thousands of years ago. Great pacing and characterization, wry wit, good tension buildup. Nicely done. This is the third in this series, so I'll be going back to start from the beginning. It's been a while since I've read something of this caliber. Simply enjoying reading...
Matthew Hester
Aug 15, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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?

Cris
Jul 02, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
How this book won a Nebula is beyond me. Recycled plot devices, predictable story and wooden characters that never seem real enough to empathize with. The critical thinking of the main actors is straight up laughable - I suppose your not left much of a choice though when your story has so many holes. First time I’ve been truly disappointed by a Nebula winner, hopefully this was just an outlier...
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. .
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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

Other books in the series

Alex Benedict (8 books)
  • A Talent for War (Alex Benedict, #1)
  • Polaris (Alex Benedict, #2)
  • The Devil's Eye (Alex Benedict, #4)
  • Echo (Alex Benedict, #5)
  • Firebird (Alex Benedict, #6)
  • Coming Home (Alex Benedict, #7)
  • Octavia Gone (Alex Benedict #8)
“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.” 2 likes
More quotes…