Chindi by Jack McDevitt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
As always, McDevitt writes SOLID space opera without the military bent. I still think the whole archeology and privateer stuff works SO much better than the whole space-battle stuff, but it only works when most of the alien civs have risen and fallen over vast time periods and we just happen to sit smack dab in the middle of a time of silence.
With a few minor exceptions, of course. Ancient fallen descendants or lightspeed lagged spaceships notwithstanding. :)
Or other alien archeologists?
Fun. :) Different. And classy.
And workmanlike. I'll never say that these are the most imaginative books in existence, but what these provide is the best above-average fare for the price. Always quality, always vast and interesting, and often more amusing than not on the character level.
Oh, and you can have a drinking game with each novel for the redshirt-esq quality of death. Of course, every character is more fleshed out than the away teams in THAT series, and it feels more like a horror/mystery/adventure than an SF, sometimes, but that's a good quality to have. It has a good flavor. :)
That being said, enjoy the ARTIFACT, folks. :) What a huge TREASURE to be found! :) :)
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