3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 24 July 2001
I had been waiting for this book for months and it did not disappoint!
This series has an amazing ability to draw you into the story. I found myself thinking about it even when not reading.
This is no simple good guys and bad guys story. The expansion of Geometry of Shadows is excellent! As with all B5 inspired by JMS nothing is quite what it at first seems. Galen hunting down the one he wishes to crush and destroy only to find he holds answers to the questions Galen is asking! He then reveals the ultimate secret of the Techno-Mages which throws Galen into such a dark place you wonder if he will find a way out in the next book.
It will be a long wait!!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 22 July 2001
After this book the "Passign of techo mages" is as integral part of B5 universe as "Legions of Fire" and "Dark Genesis" even techo mages newer had major role in shadow war.
If you read this you'll learn why Vorlons dislike techo mages despite/becouse of the similarities in their philosophies.
You'll also learn why Baylock and some other techo mages have so high respect of the discipline.
Ther is also more about Vorlons especially Kosh and reasons for techno mage's secresy.
You'll find some backround about the reasons why the rules of Vorlon/Shadow war were broken.
You'll learn a new side of Galen character thas was not really visible in the Crusade. The character besomes as multi-dimensional as Delen, Londo or Sheridan.
As any other B5 book, reading this probably makes no sense if you have not seen the TV serie.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 19 July 2001
With the confirmed return of the Shadows, the Circle that rules the techno-mages have decided that to fight them is too costly, and the only option for them to survive is to go into hiding. A decision which doesn't go down well with Galen whose rage is building within him as he seeks to take revenge against those that caused the death of his fellow mage Isabelle. But with agents of the Shadows seemingly everywhere, a daring plan is formed to ensure the survival of the mages, but at what price will this plan succeed?
Following almost immediately on from the first book in this trilogy, Casting Shadows, Jeanne Cavelos' latest entry into the Babylon 5 universe is yet another masterpiece, bettering even the quality of the first of The Passing Of The Techno-Mage Trilogy. Set over a very short space of time, Summoning Light continues the Techno-mage story, and also reveals that there was far more to the B5 episode, The Geometry Of Shadows, than anyone ever imagined.
Whereas there is the bigger picture of the techno-mage's involvement with the start of the Shadow War, Summoning Light is very much the story of both Elric and Galen. Elric, the strong member of the Circle who have guided the mages for centuries, and his protégée - the headstrong Galen, wracked with guilt and doubt about himself and the mage with the deadly spell of destruction. Cavelos characterises both of these characters superbly well and she brings something to them beyond that which was seen of both of them in Babylon 5 and in Crusade. But although these two are the main characters, and dominate the story, the other characters are equally well drawn and memorable.
Cavelos' pacing of the story is tremendous, and combined with the quality of her writing it made this book impossible to put down as it races towards it's shocking conclusion. Once more the universe of Babylon 5 is brought back to life vividly in great style, Summoning Light is a book that I cannot recommend highly enough. It is a book of epic proportions which should be read and enjoyed.
If the conclusion of The Passing Of The Techno-Mages is as good as Casting Shadows and Summoning Light have been, then Invoking Darkness will be a fitting end to this wonderful trilogy.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 6 August 2001
Well having waited a few months since reading the first installment, again, once i started reading, i could not put this book down.
The twists and turns in the story are gripping. The book links in nicely with the episode The Geometry of Shadows which helps put it in the babylon 5 timeline.
The most intriguing part was the revelation about the tech, i won't say anymore than that as I don't want to spoil the story for others.
Anyway, a good read and yet again, can't wait for the 3rd and final installment.
on 29 July 2015
The Woman is her Message
Literally, interwoven between deep psychological conflicts, apocalyptic battles, political intrigues and interstellar journeys, Jeanne Cavelos encapsulates the emotional identity crisis facing 21st century youth and women intellectuals. Cavelos frames her thesis between Michel Straczynski’s powerful philosophical/psychological questions. Who are you? What do you want? An astrophysicist, who worked in NASA’s training division and a science fiction author place her in an optimal position to view practically everything from the combined perspectives of a woman and a polymath. Revealing and disturbing insights of her meaning emerge from decoding the moral message portrayed in The Passing of the Techno-mages.
Cavelos’ Techno-mages base their identity, knowledge and power on three mutually dependent codes: biological identity on genetics, technical on mathematics and a quasi-religious moral code. Burell, an older woman, and her young apprentice Isabelle establish the inherent value of information; however, it is the male protagonist Galen, and his mentor Elric, who must ultimately bear the emotional burden of the 23rd Century’s Catch-22 moral dilemma.
A moral imperative and responsibility are necessary consequences of three codes that encompass practically all knowledge. Trust is essential. If there is a betrayal of trust, personal empowerment conferred by the knowledge makes the responsibility of monopolizing information exceedingly dangerous. Highly emotional potentially suicidal reactions are to be expected. Consequently, no imagination is required to infer that negative effects on women and youth make domination of essential codes by older men in our 21st century increasingly untenable.
She skillfully erases the boundaries between academic specialties and literary genre, yet the author’s message is clear. We have to, nevertheless, be careful how we decode it. As an astrophysicist working in the Astronaut Training Division, she has, no doubt, experienced the emotional shock of considering the psychological and moral consequences of digital information’s technology’s NASA and DARPA roots. So, what-she-is is as important as who-she-is.
The Passing of the Techno-mages is a masterly portrayal of powerful emotions experienced at critical moments; a monumental task, brilliantly executed, yet there is little hope that its author will receive her just due.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
I would have to say I loved this book from start to finish with only one exception..... that is I want part 3 NOW!!!!
This book follows on brilliantly from Casting Shadows, developing some of the characters we were introduced to in that book into fully fleged people in their own right. It lets us watch how learn more the truth about themselves and how this truth changes them, it also has some very nice tyins to the TV series and gives us a new perspective on what wasn going on back then in the series.
However as I said in the title I didn't find anything revealed in this book to be a suprise, it wasn't blatently obvious to me what was going to happen (like some films when you know the end) but it didn't grab me unawares and change every thing either.
I would say that if you love B5 and can read you should read this book, but you need to read part 1 first... I would also read this trilogy before you read the Centari one as that has a spoiler in it regarding the mages...