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(Alex Benedict #3)

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  7,086 ratings  ·  385 reviews
The Barnes & Noble Review
Alex Benedict and his executive assistant, Chase Kolpath -- ambitious antiquities dealers from Jack McDevitt's A Talent for War (1989) and, more recently, Polaris -- are back in Seeker, a story in which the two antiquarians search for a legendary lost colony that is both a science fiction thriller and a remarkably complex mystery.

More than 9,000 ye
Mass Market Paperback, 373 pages
Published October 31st 2006 by Ace (first published November 2005)
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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 self-contai…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)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.91  · 
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 ·  7,086 ratings  ·  385 reviews

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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
Mar 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Jan 07, 2009 rated it it was ok
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
Sir He-Man
Jan 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
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.
Jul 03, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
Hugo Ortega
Jun 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Jun 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
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 Margo
Feb 26, 2010 rated it liked it
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.
Kevin Kelsey
Jun 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Extremely good far future science fiction. It feels grounded on actual science, and has a phenomenal ending.
Apr 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
I read this some years ago and enjoyed it...and did the same this time as well!
Thomas DuCharme
Mar 07, 2017 rated it did not like it
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.
Toby Udstuen
Apr 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 02, 2018 rated it it was ok
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...
Joe A
Dec 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
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. ...more
Michael Smith
Jan 15, 2020 rated it liked it
McDevitt is, generally, one of our more reliable SF authors and his far-future “Alex Benedict” series is some of his best work. Alex is a dealer in antiquities out on Rimway, at the edge of human-inhabited space -- emphatically not an archaeologist, which gets him sneered at by the academics -- but he has a natural talent for uncovering long-lost artifacts and solving ancient mysteries. But keep in mind that these stories (this is the third one) are set 10,000 years in our future, so “ancient” t ...more
Fairly Decent Mystery

Fairly decent mystery in science fiction clothing. However, if you read a lot of regular mysteries, not a lot of big surprises. Starts as a McGuffin story, but golly gee, looks like the McGuffin was pregnant the whole time, and it drops a litter of McGuffins, some bigger, some smaller. Throw in more exotic locales than an episode of Magnum, P.I., some fancy spaceships, and a space version of Indiana Jones, but without the fedora and snappy comebacks. The smart guy has a side
Ryan Dash
Jan 28, 2021 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sf
2.5 stars. I’m not a mystery reader, and here I was reminded why. While it was somewhat engaging, I was always thinking, what’s the point? Let’s skip the dead ends and tiny leads and cut to the chase! The ending was fine but left me a little unsatisfied, as I felt it could have been imbued with a much stronger sense of wonder. I didn’t care for the setting of the book, though the alien section was cool.
Feb 25, 2018 rated it it was ok
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
Scott Diamond
Apr 29, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: f-scifi-fantasy
2006 Nebula Award winning book. And it was OK. The story moves along reasonably well. But I was hoping for something like Asimov or Clarke and it just wasn't there. Too many details and not enough big ideas for me. Still, a fun read. ...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
James Mourgos
Sep 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi

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
Alex Shrugged
Oct 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
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.

Update: I increased my rating by one star. This book has become better on the second read.

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 do
★ krasnayazvezda ★
Disclaimer: This is a re-read. My father introduced me to the Alex Benedict novels years ago. I remember enjoying them (there were only a few available at the time) and have decided to revisit them as an adult, and check out the latest in the series.

A Talent for War was excellent, but the subsequent novels have never managed to capture the mystery, intrigue and adventure of the first book. It's so strange to me that it appears to have the lowest rating out of the entire series. My ratings ha
Aug 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A well paced story that gets you into the world of the protagonist and make you travel around the universe. It kept me curious and engaged until the end.
Apr 24, 2008 rated it liked it
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
Oct 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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?

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
Jun 22, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Sep 21, 2007 rated it liked it
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
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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)

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