The final book in David Zindell’s trilogy is supremely underwhelming. His striking prose is unable to redeem the meandering plot or make up for the total lack of resolution in some key storylines. But even said prose starts to feel tedious after awhile, especially when the protagonist — who is practically perfect in every way — experiences a mind-blowing epiphany seemingly every other chapter, epiphanies that Zindell describes in great detail. Perhaps most annoying of all, the novel’s climax is basically a riff on classic utilitarianism, which (A) requires the protagonist to abandon the lofty idealism he’s spouted throughout the trilogy and (B) undermines Zindell’s passionately written ruminations on life’s purpose and humanity’s potential.
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