The Octagonal Raven Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Octagonal Raven

L.E. Modesitt, Jr.
Tor, Feb 2001, 27.95, 398 pp.
ISBN: 031287720X

    Because of his family's wealth, Daryn Alwyn has been the recipient of genetic enhancements and nanotech augmentations. Still, Daryn prefers to succeed on his own, rejecting the opportunity to join in the giant media firm, UniComm, run by his family. Instead, he becomes federal starship pilot and ultimately serves as a media consultant.
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    However, Daryn's perfect world is knocked off its axle when a woman tries to kill him at a party. After recovering from "poison", Daryn can not find the elusive culprit. His world spins further out of orbit when his sister dies in a suspicious looking accident. More attempts on his own life and other selected murders have Daryn, a raven among eagles, investigating who will benefit from the deaths of his family ands other key UniComm officials.

    THE OCTAGAON RAVEN is a well written, but somewhat slow science fiction thriller. The story line is fabulous when it concentrates on the social issues of the haves vs. the have nots which involve ”modern” medical techniques such as the genetic enhancements that give an added edge to the rich. When the plot focuses on a conspiracy, it teeters a bit as if L.E. Modesitt, Jr. was undecided between a social statement and a futuristic take over the world thriller. Science fiction fans will want more of the latter as that type of tale provides quite an impact when well written and Mr. Modesitt, Jr. can tell a terrific tale.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of The Octagonal Raven

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Plot & Themes

Spying & Investigations    -   Yes What is main char. doing?    -   finding a killer (criminal)    -   finding a spy/saboteur Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Profession/status:    -   pilot, civilian


A substantial portion of this book takes place on a non-Earth planetary body:    -   humans in a futuristic society Planet outside solar system?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment scientific jargon? (SF only)    -   some scientific explanation How much dialogue?    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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