by Timothy Zahn
Published by Tor Books
Will Gordy's Rating: 4 out of 4
Timothy Zahn has come along way from his quick-read 300 page novels of the 80's. He's matured more and more throughout his career. Angelmass is nothing like his Star Wars novels or Conqueror's series. The story centers around Jereko Kosta, a Pax spy sent to the Empyreal worlds to study the "angels," mysterious energy particles that seem to make people near them act ethically. Also, Chandris (insert last name alias) gets caught up in the story by just attempting to con the wrong people. What are the angels? Why do the Emperyeal people seem normal? Kosta tries to answer these questions.
Great dialogue, I can't remember a single awkward scene. There are some really interesting technological ideas; catapult travel, angels, and the shockers, handheld "guns" that do no cosmetic damage. The story moves along at a good pace and has some real surprises and twists. I would have to say this is Zahn's best novel aside from The Icarus Hunt.
I've never met anyone who could learn so much just from studying people's mannerisms and speech. That physcic gift seems to be with every character Zahn creates. I guess this is scifi so it's not too much of a farfetched theory.
The ending is clearly not what you'd expect, doesn't make much sense, and everyone is a little out of character. If you think about it for a while, it starts to make sense, but the first time you read it you'll be scratching your head.