January 08, 2004

In the Hall of the Martian King by John Barnes

martianking.jpgBook three in Barnes's series portraying the adventures of Jak Jinnaka. In this one, young Jak is in his first administrative posting on Deimos, the moon of Mars. He is the assistant to the head administrator of the habitat, but since he's going on vacation, Jak will mostly be in charge. His departing boss has done everything in his power to ensure that Jak's tenure will be as boringly uneventful as possible. Naturally, it's not enough. Jak ends up having to travel to the surface of Mars where there's a major incident going on in relation to an archeological dig which has turned up some lost information about Paj Nakasen, the framer of the philosophy that underlies the entire culture of the solar system.

There's some serious action sequences and some serious drama in this volume to rival that of the prior volumes. Barnes is writing a series here that's got a space opera skeleton with a whole lot of philosophical, political, ethical, and psychological meat on it. Page-turner storytelling with heart and soul.

The philosophy centers around the aforementioned Nakasen and the 234 Principles that he recorded. Individual Principles are mentioned in passing in the text. I searched google to see if anyone had collected the ones thus-far mentioned, and since it seemed that no one had, I did it myself.

This book has an important revelation about Nakasen and his principles that I will not repeat as it's an enormous spoiler.

Posted by jeffy at January 8, 2004 10:27 PM
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