RogerBW's Blog

The Spires of Denon, Kristine Kathryn Rusch 19 September 2022

2010 science fiction novella in the Diving Universe series. The Spires are an enigmatic artifact built by a now-vanished civilisation. Meklos Verr is a security consultant hired to guard the archaeological expedition… but nobody is quite what they appear.

Some novels give me the feeling that they'd have been better cut down to novella length, with the good bits kept and the padding removed. This is the opposite: it's both an archaeological puzzle and a who's-the-villain mystery, and I'd have loved to have read more, or about what these people did next. (Though perhaps it would have fallen flat, as The Falls did to some extent.)

There's no cast overlap with the main Diving series, but the usual socially awkward people are here; the three principals would all do almost anything other than spend time aimlessly talking with people, and for me that's come to be one of the joys of this series, its representation of introverted people as normal rather than some sort of exotic weirdo.

Naturally at this size it's a straightforward plot, but it still manages to hold a few surprises. It could certainly be read in isolation; there's nothing here that relies on knowledge of the rest of the universe. Perhaps not outstanding, but definitely recommended.

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See also:
The Falls, Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Previous in series: Diving Into the Wreck | Series: Diving Universe | Next in series: City of Ruins

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