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Genre: Science Fiction, General Science Fiction
Action-packed and spanning several hundred years in the near future, this cerebral tale is not a one-sitting read and will be best enjoyed by fans of the genre. Wright weaves an intricate backdrop of the Earth’s twisted history that is both fascinating and at times horrifying and sad. Unfortunately, the time Wright spends developing this backdrop means that many character relationships are never fully realized. Nonetheless, the pacing is excellent as Wright skillfully uses flashbacks and a non-linear narrative. Furthermore, Menelaus is an admirable hero. Readers will sympathize with his curiosity and thirst for knowledge, which even though it drives him to madness, propels this satisfying modern space opera forward.
Mathematical genius Menelaus Illation Montrose has dreamed of space travel since he was young, desperate for a means to escape post-apocalyptic Earth. When he is selected for an intergalactic mission to investigate a mysterious alien object known as the Monument, Menelaus realizes that the only way to decode the Monument’s cryptic message is to inject himself with a power biochemical, enhancing his already high IQ to a superhuman level. As Menelaus falls deeper into a madness driven by mathematical calculations, his crew returns to Earth and freezes him in an attempt to save his life. Thawed hundreds of years later, Menelaus awakens to discover that Earth has become a disturbing place and he may still be the only one who can uncover the dark secret the Monument holds. (TOR, Dec., 368 pp., HC, $25.99)
*Web Exclusive Review*
Reviewed By: Janine Johnston
Published: December 2011