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The Elysium Commission by L. E. Modesitt
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The Elysium Commission (2007)

by L. E. Modesitt

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Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
...I do think that Modesitt leans on what he has done before a bit too much in this novel. Not so much in terms of characters (an often heard criticism of his work) but thematically. Over the course of many novels he's laid out a structure of ethics, views on society and human nature that is so central to his work that it is almost misleading to consider The Elysium Commission a standalone story. The author builds on the foundations he has laid in earlier books. They are so interlinked in a way that you will get more out of this novel if you have read more of his work. If you like Modesitt's writing you can't really go wrong with this one, but if you are looking for a good entry point into his oeuvre I'd look elsewhere.

Full Random Comments review ( )
  Valashain | Apr 5, 2015 |
What a fun read! A good mystery wrapped in SF is a treasure for me combining two of my favorite genres. This one was a bit too mysterious at times & not helped by quite a few strange names. You really need to remember all the names & I found that tough at times.

But two wonderful quotes came out of this book & are now added to GR:
Deities are invented by fallible and finite beings in the hope and desire to create immortal perfection; unfortunately, such deities only reflect their creators and inspire their followers to similar imperfections.

Hatred is a form of faith, distilled by passion to remove all rationality.

I especially like the last one, but each chapter starts with one, so there are plenty to choose from.

As usual, the characters are mysterious & the world/characters & all have stringent limits on them as Modesitt's economic background shines into a new civilization. People have a lot more toys, but they're still the same, too. He makes the future fantastic almost mundane. Love it! ( )
  jimmaclachlan | Aug 18, 2014 |
Action packed sci-fi thriller and very enjoyable. Had a bit of trouble in the beginning with Modesitt's futuristic terminology - left me floundering a few times. The climax was nerve-racking. ( )
  triciareads55 | May 7, 2014 |
L. E. Modesitt is best known for his fantasy works and has been on my radar for a while now. However given that the various fantasy series he's written (such as the Saga of Reclucce) have a large number of volumes, most of them hefty door-stoppers at that, I wanted to dip my toes in the waters with a stand-alone book first, before starting yet another long fantasy series. The Elysium Commission, a stand-alone science fiction work seemed to fit the bill.

The story follows an ex-special forces fellow who is now a private eye named Blaine Donne. The action takes place on the far future world of Devanta and begins with Donne receiving a mysterious commission to investigate the connection between a corporate moghul, a research scientist and the word "elysium" (hence 'The Elysium Commission'). Of course, in true PI fashion, Donne soon finds that the connection is far more convoluted and mysterious and dangerous than he had bargained for.

Modesitt's prose is workmanlike but fluid. Its an easy read. The world he creates is an interesting one, with some thought given not only to the technology, the society, but also to wider galactic politics. Beyond the setting though, one gets the feeling that the story itself is a little vanilla. Donne is so hyper-competent and has so many technological gizmos at his service that he seems like more than a match for the villains. This is a PI who hasn't bitten off more than he can chew. The bulk of the book seems to consist of Donne calling up people asking about his various commissions and googling (sorry, "diving into the datastacks"). This is punctuated by the odd failed attempt to kill him. The sense of mystery is further disappointed by inter-spaced chapters where we switch to the main villain's perspective. This does little for the story except informing us of what's going on well before Donne figures things out and also slowing down the pace of the story. Thankfully Modessitt abandons this approach halfway through and the chapters from the villain's perspective become much more infrequent later on. The characters are nothing to write home about. Overall, I would say its a decent read, but not outstanding in any particular way. ( )
  iftyzaidi | Mar 31, 2011 |
Very good read ( )
  DocWalt10 | Jun 23, 2010 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
L. E. Modesittprimary authorall editionscalculated
Seeley,DavidCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0765356546, Mass Market Paperback)

L.E. Modesitt returns to SF with a whole new future world on the brink of destruction.
 
A brilliant scientist on the planet Devanta has created a small universe contiguous to ours --and a utopian city on one of the planets. The question becomes, though, an utopia for whom? And why is a shady entertainment mogul subsidizing the scientist? More critical than that, does this new universe require the destruction of a portion --or all -- of our universe in order to grow and stabilize?

Blaine Donne is a retired military special operative now devoted to problem-solving for hire. He investigates a series of seemingly unrelated mysteries that arise with the arrival of a woman with unlimited resources who has neither a present nor a past.
 
The more he investigates, the more questions arise, including the role of the two heiresses who are more -- and less -- than they seem, and the more Donne is pushed inexorably toward an explosive solution and a regional interstellar war.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:05:27 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

A brilliant scientist on the planet Devanta has created a small universe contiguous to ours, and a utopian city on one of the planets. The question becomes, though, a utopia for whom? And why is a shady entertainment mogul subsidizing the scientist? More critical than that, does this new universe require the destruction of a portion, or all, of our universe in order to grow and stabilize? Blaine Donne is hired to find out.… (more)

» see all 2 descriptions

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