Omniscient is the third book in the Exoskeleton trilogy from experimental physicist Shane Stadler.
…warning: spoilers ahead…
As with its predecessor, Tympanum, Omniscient starts off quite slowly, introducing a new character, Jacob Hale, a relative of Horace who takes up researching the Red Wraith Project in his stead. The book reminds us of the basic story to date, with the occasional tidbit of additional data to keep us interested. However, the expected story direction of Will Thompson’s return to Antarctica takes a very long time to get started.
The vast majority of the novel is basically a continuous, but gradual release of scientific information. As the characters investigate the books, objects and devices acquired from Antarctica, they discuss the advancements of their knowledge on the subjects at length. As a result I found myself getting bored by the persistent data dumps of facts, figures, statistics and general information. It’s not until about three quarters of the way through the novel, that the group eventually begin their journey to the base in Antarctica, and things finally start to get interesting.
There is also a large number of spelling errors, a lot more than I’d like despite the long length of the book. Along with some tedious and repetitive filler material, in which people do boring everyday tasks such as make tea or coffee, drink sodas and eat pizzas, most of which is probably unnecessary.
Despite the difficulties I had in staying focused and reading this novel, I’m glad that I persevered until the end. Once again, in the latter stages of the story, things finally begin to coalesce, coming together to make sense. I thoroughly enjoyed the main premise of the Exoskeleton trilogy and although it can be hard work to read, at 4 out of 5 stars I recommend this to all lovers of hard science fiction.
“Nothing is forever“. – William Thompson (locations 9193, 10337 & 10637)