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Firebird: An Alex Benedict Novel | [Jack McDevitt]

Firebird: An Alex Benedict Novel

Forty-one years ago the renowned physicist Chris Robin vanished. Before his disappearance, his fringe-science theories about the existence of endless alternate universes had earned him both admirers and enemies. Alex Benedict and Chase Kolpath discover that Robin had several interstellar yachts flown far outside the planetary system, where they too vanished. And following Robin's trail into the unknown puts Benedict and Kolpath in danger.
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Publisher's Summary

A new Alex Benedict novel from "a master of describing otherworldly grandeur" (Denver Post).

Forty-one years ago, the renowned physicist Chris Robin vanished. Before his disappearance, his fringe-science theories about the existence of endless alternate universes had earned him both admirers and enemies. Alex Benedict and Chase Kolpath discover that Robin had several interstellar yachts flown far outside the planetary system, where they too vanished. And following Robin's trail into the unknown puts Benedict and Kolpath in danger.

©2011 Cryptic, Inc. (P)2011 Audible, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (253 )
5 star
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4.1 (225 )
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4.2 (220 )
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    wendy NJ 11-08-11
    wendy NJ 11-08-11 Member Since 2004

    Tell us about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    269
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    "best Alex Benedict in a while"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. This has been my favorite Alex Benedict story since the earlier ones (Seeker, Polaris, etc). Devil's Eye and Echo were much less engaging, so it is great to see McDevitt back to form in this story. Really engaging, lots of ingest, and the characters are well drawn.


    What other book might you compare Firebird to and why?

    This one reminds me of the first Benedict book, A Talent For War


    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael G. Kurilla ROCKVILLE, MD, United States 11-20-11
    Michael G. Kurilla ROCKVILLE, MD, United States 11-20-11 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Another solid Benedict mystery"

    With the latest installment of the Benedict/Colpath series, McDevitt again demonstrates domination of the subgenre of sci-fi mysteries. The entire series is best summed up as Indiana Jones meets Sherlock Holmes in the distant future. In this story, Benedict stumbles upon artifacts from a controversial physicist who simply disappeared 40 years earlier. In trying to establish some background on the events surrounding his disappearance, Benedict displays his adroit detective skills, while at the same time exploring some rather exotic physics that suggests long lost spacecraft may still be out there wandering some interdimensional no man's land. McDevitt also takes the opportunity to explore notions of human consciousness and identity which suggest this will receive more attention in future installments.

    As usual, McDevitt's style is unique in generating characters that are quite familiar and very identifiable with today's culture in spite of the 9000 years in the future separation with Earth. Politics, prejudice, and PR still exist in abundance. At the same time, there are discussion of where to go for lunch and dating versus long term commitments that make the characters feel real and approachable.

    McDevitt also does a great job of spreading the contributions around without resorting to a strictly ensemble cast of one trick ponies. The casting of Colpath as Dr. Watson and diarist to Benedict is a nice touch that solidifies the Sherlock Holmes reference.

    The narration is well done with an excellent range of voices. This is one series that is always something to look forward to the next.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charles E. Richardson bink 11-06-11 Member Since 2008

    bink

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Another in a Line of Great Listening"

    Like previous Alex Benedict novels this is fast moving, thoughtful, and uses characters well. Like the rest he takes us through a mystery in the far future of humanity. In this case he covers something that has been happening since the first novel in the series, infrequent disappearances of intersellar space craft. It is a mixture of learning what humans are and what we will do for each other.

    If you have loved the previous in this series you will like this one, too. If you aren't familiar, I would suggest you read earlier ones to get the full effect of the series.

    The narrator has done several of these novels and has a good style developed that makes identifying character changes and specific characters fluid. She does overplay Chase, the female lead, a bit hysterically. It is noticable but not a huge blemish. Otherwise her voice carries you through to the end.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Creativecolor 12-06-11 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Just your typical McDevitt awesomeness!"

    The Universe that Jack McDevitt has created is vast indeed. This book simply adds another chapter into it. The story, is as always, very well done, with plenty to keep your mind going. The character Alex Benedict, as your future day Sherlock Holmes, takes all the clues you never knew where there and makes amazing leaps and bounds in understanding the greater picture. Adding in fact and the unpredictability of humans and AI's (betas) to come to the correct conclusion. And although Jack brings closure to this book, the new doors he's opened leave even more room to expand. I can't wat for the next novel!

    Just another awesome Book!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joshua mcleansville, NC, United States 10-04-12
    Joshua mcleansville, NC, United States 10-04-12 Member Since 2011

    www.newimperium.org

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Space Archaeology! How could you go wrong?"

    Space Archaeology - What could be better than that? Where do I sign up? Those were my thoughts after the first hour or so into this book. However, the "Best of both worlds - Star Wars meets Indiana Jones" adventure that I felt I was promised quickly degenerated into something far more disappointing. The first half of this is a mystery solver - going here and there, interviewing people and collecting clues and data - very run of the mill, boring stuff. The second part turns into a series of rescue missions for people whose ships have gotten trapped outside the normal space-time continuum. The solving of the initial mystery is a real anticlimax, treated like a footnote, breaking the payoff of the story type we were initially promised. This guy needs to read up on some of Orson Scott Card's writing classes and books.
    Ultimately a disappointment, with little territory that hasn't been covered. It felt like an amateur attempt at Ian Banks. Furthermore I didn't care for all the religious themes and discussions within the book. I hate when authors try to make conclusions when it's obvious they don't have a deep knowledge of their subject matter. I don't know what you were trying to accomplish but best if you'd stayed away, Jack.
    This was my first novel in this series. Perhaps I should have started with the first one chronologically.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lynda Gingin, Australia 02-08-12
    Lynda Gingin, Australia 02-08-12

    Avid audio book listener who has recently become a Kindle addict!!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good story"
    Would you listen to Firebird again? Why?

    Yes. It was an enjoyable story. My first Jack McDevitt book that I have listened and I found it a constant & interesting read. I agree with other reviews that mentioned the AI voices being stilted and the story line a bit tame. I am glad I purchased it despite some poor reviews. The story was exploratory and I was surprised that the narration was from Chase' point of view not Alex's.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Yes.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    No. All good.


    Any additional comments?

    I would give this book the benefit of the doubt and download it. It was a story on a continuum not a lot of peaks and troughs in terms of exciting which makes a change from a book full of twists and turns. Really easy to listen to.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peter perth, Australia 11-24-11
    Peter perth, Australia 11-24-11 Member Since 2008
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    "another one"

    really like the benedict series and this one is no different ,takes you back to the start and then forward again with every thing in between to satisfy and enthrall you about the story..

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christopher Howrah, Australia 11-23-11
    Christopher Howrah, Australia 11-23-11 Member Since 2007

    Social Scientist and Researcher; mostly retired but conducting longitudinal research into social issues especially the media and social networking. Avid SF and alternative history fan; enjoy a good crime yarn and have become something of an addict for audiobooks.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The master story-teller scores again"

    Jack McDevitt's series of yarns starring Alex Benedict and Chase Kolpath, his pilot in a galactic setting. A Talent for War sets the standard for modern SF and is worth reading for a primer.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    george United States 12-12-11
    george United States 12-12-11 Member Since 2011

    I'm a technician that does a lot of driving for his job. I use the "windshield" time to listen to audiobooks.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Story very good, the reader, just above average."
    Would you consider the audio edition of Firebird to be better than the print version?

    To answer the above question, I would have to read the print version to answer the question. I've read 3 other Alex Bennedict Novels by Jack McDevitt (this is my first listening to one). Jennifer read the AI's portion in a stilting manner. Wrong. The AI's were programmed for conversation, and she should have read them as close to a free flowing human as possible. But that's not a reason to listen to this book. It's good.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I had no favorite character


    What about Jennifer Van Dyck’s performance did you like?

    She did female voices okay.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    I'm not a marketing person, so I can't answer that question.


    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vira Pretoria, South Africa 09-22-12
    Vira Pretoria, South Africa 09-22-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Boring"

    I'm amazed at the rave reviews. Alex Benedict may be interesting, but this book certainly isn't. Perhaps his other escapades are more interesting. My mind kept drifting off, then i'd go back to see what i'd missed, which wasn't anything much. Then it finally dropped off without an ending. I wondered if a chapter had got lost, but no, maybe just my concentration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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