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altheaann

altheaann

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The Life of the World to Come - Kage Baker The 'Company' stories all deal with the idea that, in the 24th century, a company learns how to send people back in time. To creat agents for itself, it takes children of a part time period and turns them into immortal cyborgs, who work for them on missions such as saving 'lost' artworks and extinct species, hiding them safely so that they can be 'rediscovered' in the 24th century.
It's all very noble on the face of it, but as time goes on, the Company's motivations and methods begin to seem more suspect to many of the agents. Do the people of the 24th century really appreciate what they've done? What will happen when the agent finally 'get' to that century? Why does no one ever receive any communications or supplies from later than the year 2355? What Happens?

The series is very slow-moving, in some ways, because although the focal point of the series is the cyborg botanist Mendoza, some of the books look at events from other points of view and other characters. So although the stories themselves might be full of action, the larger picture hasn't developed very quickly.

'The Life of the World to Come' is an excellent entry in this series. Mendoza does appear - and plays an essential part - but the story focuses on Alec Checkerfield - neglected orphan, child prodigy, rogue, playboy, not to mention the Seventh Earl of Finsbury. Not to mention obsessed with pirates. A dissolute man of the 24th century - and a Company experiment. Coincidentally, he's a dead ringer for the only two men that Mendoza has ever loved, in her long, long life.
In this book, the reader finally gets a good look at the 24th century - it's worse than even the Company agents might have guessed.
My only quibble is that, although the trio of Company men who devise the Adonai project are just too dorky to be believed. They're funny, sure - but the amount of unchecked power they have, in their bungling way, just doesn't fit in with the smooth sophistication we see in the higher-ups. Perhaps it will be explained in a later book...