Monday, April 27, 2009

Messiah Node by Lyda Morehouse (3/5 stars)

The third installament in the Archangel Protocol. At present there are four books in this series; Morehouse is in the process of writing a prequel book called the "Resurrection Code". This book followed much in the manner as Fallen Host. I thought it was okay but the overly heavy religious themes get boring for me and the characters again seem to lack depth.

The story from Fallen Host continues but this time we are seeing from the eyes of Michael (archangel), Page, and Mouse. Other characters take their shot at telling from their points of view too; so we hear again from Diedre (her story is told in the first book), from the Dragon, and from Morningstar. Each chapter ends with a brief news bulletin describing world conditions as people are convinced the apocalypse is drawing closer. The plot follows as the new messiah and Anti-Christ are searched for.

This book is very creative and has a very complex plot. The world-building in this book (the whole series) is phenomenal. I find this whole series intellectually interesting but I don't take a lot of joy in reading this series. This book is no different.

The religious theme in this sci-fi series is overdone; there is no subtly to it. You are constantly having religious parable, cross-references, and consequences shoved at you. I don't particularly enjoy reading about religion and I find the depth of obsession with it in this series to be a bit silly. I also think that the character development and the plot development suffers from the fact that the story is parsed into little bits told from different characters' points of view. This method of writing worked much better in Fallen Host, there is propelled the story forward. In this story, for some reason, this method of writing parses the story up and makes the plot drag. Similarly you aren't allowed to have time to get attached to any of the characters.

I continue to read this series because I find the humanization of AI's interesting. I also find some of the "good" vs "evil" aspects of the story to be interesting. The world created is very detailed and interesting too. It is a bit disturbing though that, by far, my favorite characters are the Dragon of the East and Page. These are both AI's and seem to have more believable personalities and relationships than the human characters in the book.

This book is not as complete as Fallen Host and many things are left hanging. I will definitely read Apocalypse Array (the 4th book). I am not sure I will read the prequel though: I just don't get much enjoyment from these books. Lyda Morehouse also writes under the name Tate Hallaway and I am interested to read some of those books to see how her writing style crosses between genre.

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