Sunday, September 30, 2007

The Third Lynx-Timothy Zahn

The Third Lynx
Timothy Zahn
Tor, Nov 2007, $24.95, 352 pp.
ISBN 9780765317322

In some future time, the different civilizations are connected by the transportation system known as the quadrail. People and objects are able to get from one place to another, along great distances using this transportation system run by the mysterious Spiders and their ever more mysterious masters the Chahwyn. Both groups are pacifist so they must recruit warriors in the invisible war against the Modhri one mind with many intelligent arms under its control. One of the agents it has co-opted is Frank Compton a former government agent who uses his skills to chip away pieces of the Modhri.

Compton’s enemy is collecting sculpture known as the lynx, viper and hawk and is killing anyone who gets in his way. An agent who believes Compton is a killer constantly dogs his footsteps making it harder to do his job and keep the lynx out of the Modhri clutches. Compton races around the galaxy trying to figure out what the Modhri has planned for its enemies. Agent Morse of the security service is trying to figure out what both sides are keeping from him and what is really going on.

THE THIRD LYNX is space opera at its finest due in large part to a larger than life hero and an antagonist that seems undefeatable. There are plenty of realistic chase scenes and misdirection as to who the enemy is and who is an ally. The Spiders and their masters are as enigmatic as Dr. Spock although they are part of the group that indirectly fights the Modhri since they weren’t engineered to be actual fighters. Readers will eagerly await the next book in the series.
Harriet Klausner

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