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THE MACHINE'S CHILD (Company Novel) Mass Market Paperback – 10 Nov 2007

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Product Description


"Baker does it again in the latest Company novel. There's more than enough action, adventure and compelling character interaction to keep even a casual reader of the series riveted to the further adventures of hapless cyborg Mendoza and her three-fold lover, Alec Checkerfield." -"Romantic Times BookReviews"

About the Author

KAGE BAKER has been an artist, actor, and director at the Living History Centre and has taught Elizabethan English as a Second Language. Born in 1952 in Hollywood, she lives in Pismo Beach, California, the Clam Capital of the World

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 30 reviews
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Not the best in the series 23 Sept. 2006
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
(No spoilers for the current book in this review, but if you haven't read the series and don't want to be spoiled for it, read no further.)

I've been eagerly awaiting books about The Company since Baker's In the Garden of Iden, and would rate all the previous novels in this series as 5s. I love Baker for her powerful prose and intense characterizations. Unfortunately, while Baker takes the reader at a breakneck pace through various times and places in The Machine's Child, she neglects the careful character development she has shown in earlier novels, and her sometimes breathtaking prose style is nowhere to be seen. The complex and conflicted Facilitator Joseph is reduced to a cartoon of the Immortal we saw in previous novels. Mendoza, although she figures in the story, seems to be more a plot convenience than the tragic, sometimes exasperating Bontanist Mendoza of Garden and Mendoza in Hollywood. Other characters such as Budu, Suleyman, Nan, Latif, and Nefer make appearances, but they are mostly cameos, and do little to move this book along.

Most of the book is given over to the Alec/Edward/Nicholas menage, with Baker beating the Technology/Reason/Faith mantra to death. Kage's idea in the previous book of the three men being prototypes of a New Enforcer type was clever; jamming them into Alec's body, not so much. That becomes tiring in this book. In fact, after the first few chapters, nothing really happens in this book. There's action, romance, tragedy, betrayal, blah, blah, blah, but none of it moves the story toward a real conclusion: it feels more like Baker is setting the stage for yet another novel, after yet another collection of Company short stories is published.

Serial novels are fine, but The Company Series is starting to feel a little like The X-Files: a lot of sound and fury, leading to nothing but a muddle in the end. It's time for Baker to find a way to the end of this story, and start another.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
This should have been short stories rather than being a novel 4 Feb. 2007
By R. Kelly Wagner - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I've been reading this series since day 1, and of course we all are anxious to find out what happens next. But this book won't tell you.

First, let me say that if you haven't read the rest of the series, this book would be totally incomprehensible; if the title popped up on your recommended list or you saw it and thought it looked interesting, but you haven't read the previous books, you would find it a complete jumble with unexplained characters, and the plot would have no detectable beginning or end. That said, if you are someone who HAS been following the series, you would still find it almost that jumbled!

I finally decided, after a few chapters, to regard this as a set of short stories that happen to be interleaved; that way, I could read and enjoy some of the brilliant scenes, and the humor, without being annoyed at the way some characters have changed personality, and without being annoyed at the way we don't actually reach the end.

Some of the things I did like about this volume:

*Joseph's enjoyment of being a Rogue Cyborg (which he thinks of complete with those capital letters).

*The very strange David Reed, and his very strange office.

*The scene where Nicolas breaks into Latin, at seeing Mendoza; as someone old enough to remember when Catholic prayers were in Latin, I recognized what he was saying, and I will tell you that if you try to translate it merely as words, you won't get the full emotional impact of that scene. What he is saying is an extremely well-known and powerful prayer usually addressed to the Virgin Mary.

*Suleyman and Latif, who at this point seem to be the only cyborgs still working for the good of humanity (that's not giving away much, since if you read the previous couple of volumes you already know that.)

Some of the things that I didn't like one bit:

*Mendoza as a besotted idiot.

*The improbable, difficult-to-accept-even-with-suspension-of-disbelief, threefold nature of Alec's personality with Nicolas and Edward; I didn't like the way this was shaping up when it first appeared, two books ago, and I like it even less now.

*The way the ending leaves us nowhere, pretty much where we were at the beginning, like watching Wagner's Ring Cycle for 20 hours only to find ourselves back in the River Rhine with a lump of gold. We jump back and forth in time, we get up to 2352, but we're actually no closer to 2355 than we were at the end of the plot in the previous book. Far too much is left unresolved.

In short: if you're following the series, you sorta have to read this one - but read it in small doses, and be prepared for being left unsatisfied. Enjoy the humor where it occurs, and then turn your brain off the book until there's another one, 'cause there's no particular food for thought here.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Whose Mendoza is this?? 11 Jan. 2007
By S. DeMers - Published on
Format: Hardcover
*warning: minor spoilers

Well, I love these books--great premise, wonderful quick-witted writing. But this one is puzzling--where is Mendoza? In this installment, she is nothing but a fluffy-headed giggling girl who wants to have sex all the time. I kept waiting for her superior intelligence to kick in, recover some memories, figure stuff out. I thought it would happen after she finally met up with Joseph--but no questions from her about who this guy is, what he was talking about when he mentioned the block on her memory, just more giggling & sexcapades. "okay Alec, whatever you say Alec"

tiresome. Hopefully the final book will revive these characters.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Enough Already! 30 Nov. 2006
By M. Berman - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Like many authors who stumble onto a successful franchise with great potential, Baker is milking it for all it is worth. I loved the first few company stories and novels, but at this point it is just getting ridiculous. Come on! "Another network of secret bases/archives? Sure! Two more outposts in the way way back? Why not? It worked last time!" It's just getting tedious. Usually when I am reading series fiction I hope that things don't get completely resolved because I like reading them so much, but at this point I am just waiting for her to pull the trigger.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
More, please 9 Jan. 2007
By V. Schmidt - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It is always good to read another episode in the Company saga, but my favorite in the series is still Mendoza in Hollywood. In Machine's Child, however, her memory is blocked and, along with it, it seems a good portion of her personality went missing as well: she is way too docile. I hope that, the closer the story gets to 2355, we will find her more back to her old self. Can't wait to find out how this plays out...and I would like to see Mendoza reconcile with Joseph.
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