Copyright 2001 by
I first read this on the 20th July 2003.
It is the year 2223 and the planet Maleiva III, known colloquially as Deepsix
is about to be destroyed by falling into the path of the
wandering gas giant Morgan's World. Scientists have been awaiting this momentous
event for twenty-seven years, ever since the path of Morgan's World was determined.
The World Academy For Science And Technology has sent the spacecraft
Wendy Jay to give its scientists a grandstand view of the imminent devastation.
Alongside this vessel is the cruise liner Evening Star. Its wealthy passengers
have paid highly for a chance to see, ensconced in luxury, the destruction.
However the Academy has rather belatedly decided that a little exploration of
Deepsix might be in order. After all this is one of the few worlds known to contain
life. Accordingly Pricilla "Hutch" Hutchins, pilot of the Harold Wildside
is drafted into the role of archaeologist to investigate some unusual ruins on this
Of course, what is planned to be a short exploration on the surface goes terribly
wrong. Hutch and her associates will struggle to escape the planet's surface before
A truly memorable climax, including a very surprising attempted rescue. This was
I loved the beginning, was fed up when they started their trek
("oh no not another trek across an alien world"), but grew to love it as they
progressed to their destination. Finally, of course, I was riveted to my seat,
one hand holding the paperback and the other juggling the T&T*, as the novel drew
to its amazing climax.
It was great to see Hutch back in action again, her quiet confidence and understated
competence achieving the optimal solution, the best out of a bad job, the highest
Jack McDevitt is a thoughtful and, as he shows in this novel, powerful writer.
I was engrossed in his descriptions of the planetary breakup; it was not simply
big numbers being thrown around, it felt real. There was a sense of great
knowledge to be discovered, and of great mysteries lost.
I didn't like the title. For some reason it made me think this was some
sort of underwater novel, and not being keen on water, found it unappealing,
Additionally I had a recollection that "The Engines Of God" was a bit slow.
Finally I remembered that, although "The Engines Of God" was not exactly fast-moving,
it has slowly become one of my favourite books. Re-enthused, I bought the book
and now consider myself darn lucky to have done so.
*Tobacco & Tequila
Loaded on the 1st August 2003.