DonAithnen (donaithnen) wrote,

The Alex Benedict books

I really like Jack McDevitt's "Alex Benedict" series. The genre is SF mysteries about archaeology. No, SRLSY. The guy really has a thing for archaeology. His other big series is _also_ has a strong focus on archaeology, but it's action/adventure oriented instead of mystery.

Predictably the "main" character is Alex Benedict, but after the first book in the series he started making Chase Kolpath, Alex's spaceship pilot and partner, the protagonist so she could act as the Watson to his Sherlock.

The only problem i really have with the series is it suffers a bit from "how can the same shit keep happening to the same guy" syndrome. The general format is that early on in the books they stumble across some strange artifact and/or hint about an archaeological site and go off to investigate. I don't think it's really a spoiler to say that (so far at least) they don't always find what they expect, but they always find _something_. In fact you can tell early on in each book (again, so far) that if they find anything at all then it's going to be pretty darn significant, therefore since they never come up empty handed...

So after three books they've made three discoveries of potentially galaxy-shaking importance (at least for the part of the galaxy inhabited by humans) and i'm wondering if the series is going to keep on like that. I know it's kind of a trope for mystery novels in general, but in those cases you've usually got a famous detective that people bring cases to, and the results aren't _usually_ of worldwide importance. Alex Benedict may be a famous antiquity dealer/"archaeologist", but they're just as likely to stumble across the key to an epic conspiracy or giant lost archaeology find entirely by accident as they are to have someone tip them off. And after the second or third time he's made incredibly famous finds in the face of active opposition you'd almost expect conspirators and/or competitors to give up as soon as they find out he's on the case and accept the discovery of whatever he's looking for as fait accompli :)

Alternately, perhaps _everyone_ in the galaxy with a big secret to keep should team up and assassinate him now before he ever gets on their trail. Sure, the likely failure might tip him off and get him on their respective trails, but since he seems fated to discover every big secret in the galaxy anyways then what have they got to lose?
Tags: reviews

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