Book review: 'The One-Eyed Man' is out of this world

By Angela Carter

For the Deseret News

Published: Saturday, Dec. 14 2013 3:10 p.m. MST

"THE ONE-EYED MAN," by L.E. Modesitt Jr., Tor Books, $25.99, 364 pages (f)

New York Times best-selling author L.E. Modesitt Jr. takes readers to a galaxy thousands of years in the future in his latest novel, "The One-Eyed Man," when travel between worlds is the norm and people stay young for centuries. Dr. Paulo Verano, an ecologist, is offered a chance to conduct an ecological survey on another planet, Stittara. With his personal life in tatters, he hastily accepts.

Not a man to overlook extraneous details, Paulo quickly uncovers secrets that will have lasting consequences on the entire planet, not to mention his own life.

Throughout the novel, Modesitt intricately builds a setting that is concrete and believable. Too much time is spent on unimportant details, such as what Paulo does before work and what he eats for dinner, and at times it is difficult to follow the terminology (many things — from food to units of measurements — are different). But Modesitt is extremely skilled at helping his readers truly get a feel for the world he has created. And despite the large cast of characters, Modesitt successfully uses dialogue and descriptions to set each character apart.

While there is a small amount of profanity throughout the book, there is no graphic violence or any sexual innuendo. Included in the book is a short story, "New World Blues," which is based on the painting on the front cover.

Modesitt has had a variety of jobs — from delivery boy to radio disc jockey to U.S. Navy pilot — and his wide life experience shows in his writing. He has written more than 60 novels and is best known for his Saga of Recluse fantasy series. "Imager's Battalion" and "Princeps" were both on the extended New York Times extended best-seller list for hardcover fiction. He currently lives in Cedar City.

A graduate of Brigham Young University, Angela Carter is a writer and editor. She blogs at I Think, Therefore I Write.

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