Monday, July 30, 2012

Judgement at Proteus by Timothy Zahn

So we finally come to the last romp for Frank Compton and his trusty sidekick, Bayta. They deliver Terese to the Filaelian Assembly's Kuzyatru Station, where she is to be treated for a genetic disease that endangers her and her unborn child. When they arrive, Frank is arrested under suspicion of the murder of six Fillies, who were indwelt by the Modhri and who died in a gunfight with police. While he is standing trial, he must also try to unravel the tangled web the Shonkla-raa have woven, and determine which of the Fillies are actually genetically modified enemies.

The plot is extremely complex, and alliances shift rapidly between Frank and his erstwhile enemies among the Modhri, who now want to enlist him to destroy the Sonkla-raa, who want only to return to their rightful place as galactic overlords. Every time they corner Frank and his friends, he must come up with another tightly held plot to defeat them. Zahn definitely has a twisty mind.

The only downside to this novel is that it proceeds at a breakneck pace for two thirds of the book, then really gets hectic, as Zahn wraps up the final installment in the series in what probably should have been two novels. Good fun, and I wonder what Zahn will come up with next.

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