This one started out so much better than Caliban. I loved
it all the way through, until the last few pages. I had to read Kresh's
solution to the murder three times, and go back over some of the testimonies,
and still I didn't get it. How to spoil a book!
The book actually takes half its length before the murder takes
place. It is a very organized event. The Governor is having
a party, and just about everyone who might want to murder him is there.
A brawl takes place, during which a stranger walks in. That mobilizes
some tampered robots, who can be conveniently deactivated when the stranger
wants to commit the murder.
Kresh is on duty, because he wants to protect the governor.
However, the party took place on the Governor's residence on the island
of Purgatory, which is owned by the Settlers, who are starting the terraforming
project, and is protected by their police force. But the residence
is technically a Spacer place, protected by the Governor's Rangers.
Kresh suspects everybody. But nobody seems capable of committing
the murder, or orchestrating such an elaborate plan.
The investigation is very intense, and moves quickly from one
thing to the next. Clues pile up, but Kresh doesn't know what to
make of them. Then there's Donald, the Sheriff's robot. He
hates Caliban so much (because he IS capable of killing a human) that he's
convinced Caliban is the murderer, which biases the investigation further.
It is so exciting, that I had trouble putting the book down at
any time. So when I was nearing the end, and we knew that Kresh had
solved the case, I was very interested to know myself, because I had no
Unfortunately, I still have no clue. Things got so complicated
during the exposition that I got lost, and had to retread the entire chapter
twice. Finally, after sifting through interviews and pages of clues,
I gave up. Quite disappointing for such an amazing book -for all
but the last ten pages. And then it sort of ended way too quickly.
On another note, I think it's wise that they get rid of the New
Law Robots. The laws are so vague, that, like Prospero, their "leader",
they can be interpreted to mean anything. And if it is only a matrix
that has to be imbedded with the new laws, then someone can essentially
make a no law robot like Caliban, and create an underground, illegal, robotic
army. I'm surprised that nobody has thought of that, now that the
gravitonic brains seem to be on the market.