The Doomsday Manuscript (Professor Bernice Summerfield) Paperback – 17 Feb 2005
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Top customer reviews
Bernice sets out on a quest to piece together the two halves of the Doomsday Manuscript, a document written four centuries ago by the members of an ill-fated archaeological expedition to the Lost Tomb of Rablev on the planet Kasagrad. Unfortunately, Kasagrad is in the centre of the Assimilated Territories of a hostile military power known the Fifth Axis. Oops.
On her way to the Lost Tomb, Bernice finds herself in various dangerous situations: dogged by a ruthless James-Bond-esque Fifth Axis assassin replete with artificial hand, chased by the remote-controlled gun-toting cameras of a retired holo-vid star, and ducking and weaving between a blockade fleet surrounding Kasagrad. And before her quest for the Lost Tomb is over, Bernice finds out that everything is not as it seems...
A novel full of action, adventure and - this being a Bernice novel - alcohol. An enjoyable 'first' adventure for everyone's favourite twenty-sixth century archaeologist.
What happens is that a representative of the Fifth Axis (who may as well be called space Nazis) find an uncatalogued item in the Braxiatel Collection, half of an archaeological manuscript recounting an expedition of some hundreds of years ago. The tomb they discovered was cursed, and all died of a wasting disease. The Fifth Axis agent, who says he's part of an art and artifact cataloguing group, gets Benny's assistance in finding the other half, to find the tomb before it and its contents fall into unsupervised Fifth Axis hands.
But not everything is as at seems...
I think my main problem is that the story is full of clichéd characters and predictable subplots. A bit more effort might have made the whole more interesting.
Usually dependable Justin Richards turns in a sub standard story that didn't manage to maintain my interest throughout. It starts off well enough whilst in the Braxiatel Collection but then descends into a below average novel. The plot is brief, and the ending totally forgettable.
It's nice to have Benny back after her sabatical when the Virgin New Adventures finished, but this first full length novel is a disappointment. And the cover is awful.
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