01/09/2009. Contributed by Geoff Willmetts
pub: Del Rey/Ballantine Books. 448 page enlarged paperback. Price: $15.00 (US), $17.00 (CAN). ISBN: 978-0-345-49993-6.
check out website: www.delreydigital.com
There is often some expectation after reading one book by an author and expecting the next one to equal the quality or learnt from previous experience actually improved. Maurice G. Dantec's latest offering, 'Cosmos Incorporated' seems to have side-stepped this and gone off on a different tangent and seems to have gotten lost along the way.
The story is supposed to be about Sergei Diego Plotkin, as assassin ordered to kill the mayor of a future city. What we actually have is a travelogue of his future reality mixed in with a heavy dose of Dantec's interests used as a retrospect and the plot ends up missing for a great part of the story. Indeed, if you took most of this out, there wouldn't be much left of the story.
Not to say it isn't interesting but it's not really telling a story which is the important thing of any novel. As such, it also removes any emotional content and figuring out what everyone is, when they are killed off, you don't really care. I don't usually like to compare novels by author's but his previous book, 'Babylon Babies', did show that Dantec can write characters and seems to have forgotten totally how to do it this time.
Whether this is because something is missing in the translation, this time by Tina A. Kover, or Dantec himself, then I would go with the latter who should know better. No matter where the author is born, there are common denominators in all stories in making interesting plots and characters that you can care about. If you miss on those two vital ingredients then you've got problems.
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