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The Engines of God by Jack McDevitt
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The Engines of God

by Jack McDevitt

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1,500347,770 (3.65)84
Two hundred years ago, humans made a stunning discovery in the far reaches of the solar system: a huge statue of an alien creature, with an inscription that defied all efforts at translation. Now, as faster-than-light drive opens the stars to exploration, humans are finding other relics of the race they call the Monument-Makers - each different, and each heartbreakingly beautiful. But except for a set of footprints on Jupiter's moon Iapetus, there is no trace of the enigmatic race that has left them behind. Then a team of scientists working on a dead world discover an ominous new image of the Monument-Makers. Somehow it all fits with other lost civilizations, and possibly with Earth's own future. And distant past. But Earth itself is on the brink of ecological disaster - there is no time to search for answers. Even to a question that may hold the key to survival for the entire human race.… (more)
Recently added bysunqueen, private library, paulwcampbell, Senriel, stevenmg, kschweiss, jannis
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English (33)  Dutch (1)  All languages (34)
Showing 1-5 of 33 (next | show all)
This was an impulse buy. A scruffy old copy I found in a charity shop. I’d never heard of the author and thought it might be a bit B-movie-ish, but I liked what it said on the back cover, spelling error and all. Turns out it’s a very good novel.

The themes are time and death.

The background is that humanity has reached the stars and found the archeological remains of two extinct human-like species. Big timespans are bandied about. 19,000 BC, 1,000 BC (“Dates are rendered in the standard language of the Christian epoch, out of respect for everyone’s sanity”). McDevitt really brings out the sadness of those near misses. Such a long time in human terms, just a moment in astronomical terms.

In the foreground is the narrative, each chapter located in time to the minute. It’s really impressive how many things that move the plot along also express the themes. The choices we make about how to fill the little time we have left, the fury with which we rush to get things done under that pressure and the sacrifices we make for what we really want.

It’s in that intersection between second and light year, species and individual, that this novel finds something to say.

There are also some flaws, but they’re not that important. ( )
  Lukerik | Jun 20, 2019 |
This was a perfectly serviceable space adventure with space travel, archaeology and monsters. The characters were a little thin, but the best part was that many of them were women, including the main character. It's nice to get an adventure story without it being uncomfortable because girls are barely allowed. ( )
  cindywho | May 27, 2019 |
I enjoyed the story line but I book felt like sereral ‘episodes’ that were interesting by themselves but not clearly part of the overall story. Honestly I didn’t ever consider abandoning the book and I wanted to know the outcomes. I also often wished I could get to the end sooner. ( )
  hazel1123 | Apr 5, 2019 |
A great beginning to what looks to be a really fun series. Looking forward to continuing reading . Really like the way Jack McDevitt tells a story... ( )
  ConalO | Apr 23, 2018 |
well written in classic novel form (much focus on characters) - for scifi good science - semi likable characters - content does drag at times but speed reading works - nice ebb and flow of intensity - excellent gradual reveal of primary mystery which keeps one reading towards a resolution (1/2 way through)
overall would read more by author ( )
  jason9292 | Dec 13, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 33 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jack McDevittprimary authorall editionscalculated
Eggleton, BobCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McAdams, JudyMapsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Wonderlijke artefacten op verre werelden dwingen de mensheid tot het opnieuw stellen van de grote levensvragen....
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For Maureen
with love
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The thing was carved of ice and rock.
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