- Title: Judgement at Proteus
- Author: Timothy Zahn
- Series: Quadrail #5
- Genre: Science Fiction
- Format: eBook
- Source: Own Copy
- Reviewed by: Sonja
- Rating: 4 out of 5
Description: In Timothy Zahn’s Judgment at Proteus, the Quadrail that connects the twelve civilizations of our galaxy has been the flashpoint of a battle for dominance fought mostly unnoticed by humankind. But Frank Compton of Earth, aided by the enigmatic woman Bayta, has fought on the front lines, using every bit of his human ingenuity and secret agent skills to outwit the Modhri, a group intelligence that would control the minds of every sentient being it can touch.
Following a trail of deception and death to Proteus Station, Compton has discovered a conspiracy that threatens all life in the galaxy: the Shonkla’raa, an ancient enemy thought to be long dead, is rising again. So serious is the danger that the Modhri, the enemy of his enemy, may now be his friend, as the burgeoning threat of a race of invincible soldiers emerges.
If Compton and Bayta can’t stop them, the Shonkla’raa will decimate all who oppose them, destroying the Quadrail and billions of lives throughout the galaxy.
Review: This is the final book in Timothy Zahn’s Quadrail series. It did not disappoint me.
This one picks up right where the last one ended. I mean right where it ended. Frank and Bayta are at their quadrail destination, ready to move forward in the war – no longer with just the Modrhi – and accompany and protect a young, pregnant teen into who knows what – whether she likes it or not. And, things are not going well – poor Frank is arrested immediately upon – for lack of an easier term – going though Customs. (They’d have that even on other planets, right?) Luckily for him, they put him basically on house arrest – though not with any mundane ankle bracelet, but, rather, two dino-pups (my term). These are ‘dogs’ with armor and some sort of telepathy that the Filos’ are able to control in such a way that the dogs act as wardens of a sort and accompany Frank everywhere and (supposedly) prevent him from doing harm to others. Which is useful, because Frank is still Frank – which means he does not stay out of trouble for long.
Judgment at Proteus is beyond a doubt my favorite book in this series. To me, it combines all of the elements that makes the first 4 books enjoyable, but does them all better. We still have the quadrail, we still have Bayta, we still have a vast assortment of planets with a vast amount of species (all of which are true unto themselves), we still have the Modrhi, we still have a mystery to solve unique to this book, and we still have a war to win. But, Judgment just flows best to me. We follow Frank through his jailtime and off planet and we travel to other planets – but, even though there are the typical twists and turns, this book seems to flow best and be more easily followed. AND – it brings all the other books and plots together and comes to a very satisfying conclusion.
Despite the fact that I really loved this, there were just a couple things that really bugged me. Firstly, Frank says repeatedly that if has been taken over by the Modrhi or any thought viruses, they were all doomed anyway – like without him, the war is lost. But, there is never any reason given as to what makes him so special that no one else could win this war. The only other slightly unsatisfying part is that while the IS a conclusion, I was left a bit with the feel that it isn’t all over . . . It ends, to me, with a very similar feel to the very first novel, Night Train to Rigel. Nonetheless, it does conclude, and that is a win for me.
I give this book – and the series – 4 stars. I really enjoyed it, and Timothy Zahn does not fail to entertain.