Believing that their breakaway colonies in the Empyrean have come under the control of aliens known as "Angels", the Pax Comitas sends scientist and newly recruited spy Jereko Costas investigate. With the help of a con artist and thief named Chandris Lalasha, Jereko discovers that the "Angels" aren't the morality controllers that the Comitas and the Empyrean believes them to be. What follows is an adventure involving socioeconomic and political intrigue mixed with hard science and philosophical debate. All in all another engaging story by Zahn.
The review of this Book prepared by Chris Sandstedt
Zahn builds a society that is easily related to earths history and the rights of individuals against the goverments of two worlds.
The review of this Book prepared by William Rawls
Tor, Sep 2001, 27.95, 430 pp.
The black hole dubbed “ANGELMASS” because of what it emits has dramatically changed the Empyrean colonists on planet Seraph. Apparently the unique particles impact people so that everyone goes out of their way to befriend everyone else. Peace, tranquillity, and honesty run the Empyrean colony, as ethical behavior is more than just the norm, it is six sigma. However, even with this high rate of adherence to using ANGELMASS to promote peace, some individuals fear the loss of free will. Still the Empyrean senate agrees to reject overtures to join the Pax Comitus alliance controlled by Earth.
When word reaches earth about these so-called “angels”, the leadership concludes that it is a Trojan Horse sent by aliens to conquer humanity. To learn more about the perceived danger from the angels, earth dispatches subatomic research scientist Jereko Kostas to investigate. He quickly joins forces with thief Chandris Lalasha, Empyrean Senator Forsythe and his aide Ronyon in a quest for the truth.
ANGELMASS is as deep a science fiction adventure tale as one can get due to the powerful characterizations and the profound look at intergalactic political, social, and behavioral interactions. The question of what is and who determines ethics is interwoven into the fantastic story line without slowing done the action. Timothy Zahn paints quite a landscape that enables the reader to understand the author's message while entertaining the wide spectra of speculative fiction fans who will fully enjoy this zestful outer space novel that seems like a throw back to the Golden Age.
The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner