Ossus Library Index Science Fiction Index

RETRIBUTION

A novel by Bill McCay (1997, Penguin Books)
Book 3 of the Stargate Sequels

Daniel tries to make people on Earth realize the threat Hathor poses in her spaceship, while the Abydans try to fit into American society.

 

 

0 stars

Read May 4th to 16th, 1998  
    Much too predictable, without any of the the tension I felt during the last books.  The defence was all too easy, and the internal strife was WAY too plain to see.  I liked the alien landscapes much better. 

Plot conveniences abounded here.  Between the ancient defence system the Setim had built on Earth, with its controlling computer in the Arabic countries, to the fact that Hathor had committed genocide against the Setim and Daniel was able to inform them of this at the last minute, to the oscillations in the Stargate allowing them to travel short distances, this book was too much to handle.  I couldn't wait for it to be over.

The book was scattered all over the place.  We get to see the Abydans locked up in the stargate mountain, then freed as Daniel leaks their existence to the press.  Then they live in their own neighborhood, but can't get along, as real alien immigrants.  They deal with such things as eating canned food, shopping at the market, and so on, too much for a book of this sort, but not enough to convince the reader that what we were reading about was a real issue.  

Daniel somehow makes progress into his defense of Earth!  I don't know how he managed to convince so many people, and then have them convince the rest of the world to pay for his research and development!  Add to that the fact that the development went so fast, and that they were able to outfit the anti-gravity drive onto all the space shuttles (including the ones that were never meant to fly, like Enterprise, and ones that have been in mothballs for years, like Buran), create and modify two space stations, and it was already too much to handle.  

But once we get all of this, we are expected to believe that the Setim (the race that Hathor decimated thousands of years before) actually built a giant defense platform that straddled the world!  But at the same time, they've never seen a blond man before?  How did they manage to do that?  They learn about this system when an Earth rocket is destroyed on its way to orbit.  Daniel creates a search (plausibly, actually!) and finds the central control unit.  He then convinces it (not plausibly...) that he is not hostile, and that the Setim have been destroyed, and that Hathor is the one who did it, and she is flying Ra's giant spaceship, and should be attacked when she gets here.  Hmmm.   

I can't even figure out why the Setim would have such a defense in place, even if Ra oppressed them.  Ra used the stargates for most of his purposes.  Anyway, the whole thing stinks, and I tried very hard to get through it as fast as I could.

There is also a small plot about some Arabs who were opposed to digging up the Setim computer, because they are the devils that the Koran speaks about.  It doesn't come off as a very organized or interesting subplot.

The real escape route for this book from total armageddon (because it is explained that the defense system will not be enough) is Daniel's work with the stargate.  Boy, was he busy in this book.  He did a bunch of other things, too.  But he discovered that resonating the stargate allowed it access to a small portal somewhere above Earth.  For what original purpose, I don't know.  Anyway, they use this to get onto the Boat of a Million Years, through its stargate.  There, Daniel is able to convince the Setim that Hathor is her enemy (after a few false starts), and she is killed at the hands of one of her own people.  The whole firefight is stupid, and is somehow not well written -I have trouble believing this is the same author who wrote the previous books.  

With Hathor dead, and the ship sabotaged by the Setim, the crew goes back through the stargate to Earth.  How did they manage this?  According to the first novel, they needed the coordinates for Earth's stargate, plus the starting point.  With the computers locked out, and the ship constantly moving, the evacuation would not work.  And now Earth has a nother group of refugees to handle -the Setim as well as the Abydans.  Thankfully Daniel was able to download a phone book of stargate destinations.  How he did this is a mystery.  I don't think Ra used floppy disks, or left a spare transportable medium nearby for downloading to the Setim computer.  And he wasn't finished downloading the file before access was cut.  When that happens to my files, the whole thing is corrupted.  I guess Ra has a better system.

I think it's best to just ignore what happened in this book except for what is needed for the next one: the Setim themselves, their huge computer network, the stargate phone book, and the face that Hathor is dead.  Ah, yes, Shauri is coming back around to Daniel -I think she's falling in love again with him, just in time for him to risk his life by visiting Hathor's ship and putting his life at risk.  How sweet...

 
   

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