Monday, July 30, 2012

Book Review: Ancient Shores

I discovered Jack McDevitt when I was plundering the dearly departed Borders book chain. I've reviewed a few of his books and am reading another one of his books now. I liked 99.44% of Ancient Shores. But, boy howdy, did the end of the book piss me off.

It starts with some farmer finding something sticking out of his field. He starts digging and finds that it's the mast of a sailboat buried on his land. The sailboat is made of a material that doesn't get dirty and doesn't wear out. And sometimes it glows at night.

Clearly this boat is not of any known technology. Must be aliens. And they must have sailed this ancient lake that covered part of the Dakotas. Somewhere, there must be a dock. They find the dock on native american land. Researchers and tourists come to check it out.

Stock markets around the world go into chaos and free fall as people wonder if there's still going to be a need for new goods if the technology in this boat ever gets reproduced. Imagine only ever needing to buy two cars in your whole life. How about a suit that only needs replaced if it gets torn.

The government feels the need to bury the tech instead of trying to ride out the chaos. They want to seize the dock, pretend to research it, and blow it up. But, it's on indian land. All kinds of bad history in that arena.

We're getting to the end of the book. It's engaging. I'm sitting in restaurants for hours reading this book. I'm up late reading this book. I'm having to prevent myself from yelling at the book on the subway. I'm getting all worked up about what's going on in the story. Then it ends in one of the stupidest ways possible.

It wasn't a dream. It wasn't a holodeck simulation. Nobody is caught in the Matrix. No, just as the military is about to take it from the defenders by force an airplane dumps a bunch of famous people at the docks. It's one thing to kill farmers and native americans, but something completely different to kill famous people. Then it's all over. End of book. FUCK YOU McDEVITT! You need to fix this book and release it again!

Still. Fantastic book right up until the last 5 pages.

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