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Octagonal Raven by L.E. Modesitt Jr.
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Octagonal Raven (edition 2002)

by L.E. Modesitt Jr. (Author)

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288539,063 (3.51)3
Member:Valashain
Title:Octagonal Raven
Authors:L.E. Modesitt Jr. (Author)
Info:Tor Science Fiction (2002), Mass Market Paperback, 480 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
Tags:2009 reviews, english, random comments review, read, read 2009, science fiction, wwe

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The Octagonal Raven by L. E. Modesitt Jr.

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» See also 3 mentions

Showing 5 of 5
this is comparable to Gravity Dreams, but not quite so sickeningly preachy. I didn't enjoy it at all though. In the future, humans are augmented by nanites, but the well off get more, etc, etc. A class of augments wants to become the ruling elite and attempts to use the media to do it. A younger son of one of the Big Three in the media ends up opposing them and winning. It was SO boring. I shall stick to his Corean Chronicles and Recluce stuff from now on. ( )
  BookstoogeLT | Dec 10, 2016 |
I enjoyed this book mostly because of its clever commentary on current society. Its well written, if a little bit slow, and for a future sci-fi novel, a little low tech. Still good though. ( )
  Karlstar | Nov 13, 2013 |
Great read ( )
  DocWalt10 | Jun 23, 2010 |
After forcing myself to finish 2/3 of this book I didn't have patience to read it more. However, the first few chapters are promising: Daryn Alwyn, the son of wealthy parents is a target of unknown assassins. After these opening chapters the reader obviously expects an exciting story, a thriller. However, it doesn't happen. The story is slow paced with numerous digressions and unnecessary descriptions of every single nook and cranny of a futuristic world. Instead of delivering drama, or at least some kind of action, we are tortured by mindless preaching. Also, the author's tendency to pile up as much techno-futuristic jargon as possible is another weakness in the story.

The society is divided into two classes: pre-selects and norms. The pre-selects are the ruling class who control wealth and resources. They are different from norms in many aspects. First, they are subjects of genetic pre-selection. Also, they tend to augment themselves by way of" nanites". What are the ninetes? The book is quite vague with respect to this question. This is, I believe, the best explanation I found in the book: "The octagonal ninetes are just programmed...cellular machines designed to analyze structures and react. If the cells aren't integral , or if there's foreign matter there, like augnites...they attack."

In short, the nanites are some kind of artificial mechanisms located in the pre-selects' bodies. They make pre-selects stronger (physically and mentally) in comparison to "ordinary" norms. However, if compromised, the "nanites " can be deadly for anyone who carries them.

Although these two classes coexist peacefully, the norms (a majority of population) are gradually becoming emboldened asking for more rights. We witness the street protests against the ruling class. Even riots.

Since the protagonist of the novel Daryn Alwyn (pre-select himself) is the most powerful man in the world - and now target of assassins - he is now in a desperate quest to find out who is behind all of this. Are the norms involved? Or perhaps the rouge elements within the ruling elite? However, Daryn must act quickly. Another puzzling question: who is responsible for the plague which threatens to decimate the whole pre-select population? Why aren't the norms affected by the plague?
Another theory: a long-dead alien race is programming nanitic attack machines and spraying them across the Galaxy.

In short, this is the context in which the novel is set. The motifs and the ideas presented in the novel are certainly very interesting, but the narrative aspect of it is a huge failure. ( )
  imota | May 30, 2010 |
...The Octagonal Raven is a book with two faces and a slightly unbalanced feel to it. If you hang in long enough to give the story a read chance it is a very rewarding read. It does have some severe pacing issues however. It is not his best SF novel I have read so far, but it is definitely not in the one read only category either. I guess whether or not you'll enjoy this book depends on how much patience you possess. In the end, I am glad my store of patience sufficed.

Random Comments review ( )
  Valashain | Sep 8, 2009 |
Showing 5 of 5
After a few chapters, I not only lost count of the attempts on [Daryn's] life, I lost whatever interest I had in his survival.
 

» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
L. E. Modesitt Jr.primary authorall editionscalculated
Seeley, DavidCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0812570081, Mass Market Paperback)

Someone is trying to kill Daryn Alwyn. Born to privilege, with pre-selected genetic advantages and the best nanotech augmentation his father's fabulous money can buy, Daryn spurned the lucrative family Media Network to seek his own path, a crafty raven among soaring eagles. After serving with distinction as a space pilot in the military, he enjoys success as a media consultant. But when he finds himself the target of sophisticated murder attempts, his world is turned upside down. It seems unlikely his success outside the family business could have inspired such expensive assassination attempts, and his father and brother and sister would be more obvious targets within the family. Then his sister is killed, and Daryn is her heir--suddenly one of the richest and most powerful men in the world. Modesitt's new SF thriller lays bare the prejudices of the powerful in a fascinating future society, and reads like an express train.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:45 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Born to privilege, with the best nanotech augmentation his father's money can buy, Daryn Alwyn spurned the lucrative family Media Network to seek his own path. After serving as a space pilot in the military, he enjoys success as a media consultant. Then he finds himself the target of a sophisticated murder attempt.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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