The Hercules Text by Jack McDevitt

I was looking forward to reading this, as it had been billed as a rational but human story of first contact. I wasn’t expecting what I found – almost a novelization of a tv mini-series. That’s not to damn with faint praise, because the novel had all the immediacy of something I was watching on a tv screen, with all the pros and cons that come with that experience.

Indeed, if this were made into a tv mini-series, it would be hailed as something interesting and intelligent. It was a very strange feeling to get from reading a book, and to some extent I have kept reading McDevitt just to see if he carries on with the trick. (He does.)

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