The Octagonal Raven

The Octagonal Raven

by L. E. Modesitt Jr.

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Being a child of wealth hasn't made life easy for Daryn Alwyn but he hasn't wanted it easy and he's always been determined to choose his own path, abandoning the possibility of power and leisure with his family's giant Media Network for a solo career, first as a military space pilot, later as a freelance media consultant. Only when he becomes the target of a series of deadly attacks does he begin to realize the true depth of responsibility his heritage forces on him. And when his sister is assassinated and he becomes one of the wealthiest people in the world he learns that his real troubles are only beginning.

Other Series by L.E. Modesitt, Jr.
The Saga of Recluce
The Imager Portfolio
The Corean Chronicles
The Spellsong Cycle
The Ghost Books
The Ecolitan Matter
The Forever Hero
Timegod's World

Other Books
The Green Progression
Hammer of Darkness
The Parafaith War
Gravity Dreams
The Octagonal Raven
Archform: Beauty
The Ethos Effect
The Eternity Artifact
The Elysium Commission
Viewpoints Critical
Empress of Eternity
The One-Eyed Man
Solar Express

At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780312700850
Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
Publication date: 04/01/2010
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 266,406
File size: 664 KB

About the Author

L. E. Modesitt, Jr., is the best selling author of The Magic of Recluce fantasy series, as well as many other popular fantasy and SF novels. He lives in Cedar City, Utah.

L. E. Modesitt, Jr., is the bestselling author of the fantasy series The Saga of Recluce, Corean Chronicles, and the Imager Portfolio. His science fiction includes Adiamante, the Ecolitan novels, the Forever Hero Trilogy, and Archform: Beauty. Besides a writer, Modesitt has been a U.S. Navy pilot, a director of research for a political campaign, legislative assistant and staff director for a U.S. Congressman, Director of Legislation and Congressional Relations for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, a consultant on environmental, regulatory, and communications issues, and a college lecturer. He lives in Cedar City, Utah.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Earth Orbit, 375 N.E.

Had the orbital watch alert satellite contained a human being, or even a sophisticated duoclone, that being might have scanned the data and reported something like, Object classified as cometoid ... spherical-octagonal, diameter forty-three meters, density two point five, composition approximately eighty-two point four percent water ... carbides and carbonates approximately fifteen percent ... iron and sulfides, silicates and oxides below detection levels ... orbital at trajectory at variance with origin in either Oort Cloud or Kuiper Belt ...

    Instead, the AI merely squirted its data analysis to the Long Watch Asteroid Collision Center satellite inhabiting the L5 point above the water planet below. In turn, the AI calculated orbital mechanics, trajectory, and mass composition and, after ensuring the object did not trigger any action parameters, stored the data for later retrieval.

    In time, the comet-like object intersected the thin upper atmosphere on the planet's night side, creating a long and brilliant trail that flashed across the high latitudes and lasted but for a few long seconds before vanishing.

    The thousands of particle-sized contaminants also eventually slowed and began to drift through the atmosphere toward the oceans and landmasses below.

    The central AI in the Long Watch Asteroid Collision Center satellite received the report of the ice-meteorite's dissolution and added the data to the records of others of that class.

    Eventually, ahuman methodizer reviewed the data, frowned at the octagonal dimensions, checked it again, and then shrugged.

Chapter Two

Raven: Vallura, 458 N.E.

Before stepping out of the foyer of my villa, I glanced at my reflection in the shimmerglass of the antique twenty-first century mirror. The dark blue singlesuit and powder blue formal short jacket still fit, even though they dated from when I'd left the Federal Service


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Octagonal Raven 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Because of his family¿s wealth, Daryn Alwyn has been the recipient of genetic enhancements and nanotech augmentations. Still, Daryn prefers to succeed on his own, rejecting the opportunity to join in the giant media firm, UniComm, run by his family. Instead, he becomes federal starship pilot and ultimately serves as a media consultant.

However, Daryn¿s perfect world is knocked off its axle when a woman tries to kill him at a party. After recovering from 'poison', Daryn can not find the elusive culprit. His world spins further out of orbit when his sister dies in a suspicious looking accident. More attempts on his own life and other selected murders have Daryn, a raven among eagles, investigating who will benefit from the deaths of his family ands other key UniComm officials.

THE OCTAGAON RAVEN is a well written, but somewhat slow science fiction thriller. The story line is fabulous when it concentrates on the social issues of the haves vs. the have nots which involve ¿modern¿ medical techniques such as the genetic enhancements that give an added edge to the rich. When the plot focuses on a conspiracy, it teeters a bit as if L.E. Modesitt, Jr. was undecided between a social statement and a futuristic take over the world thriller. Science fiction fans will want more of the latter as that type of tale provides quite an impact when well written and Mr. Modesitt, Jr. can tell a terrific tale.

Harriet Klausner

imota on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
After forcing myself to finish 2/3 of this book I didn't have patience to read it more. However, the first few chapters are promising: Daryn Alwyn, the son of wealthy parents is a target of unknown assassins. After these opening chapters the reader obviously expects an exciting story, a thriller. However, it doesn't happen. The story is slow paced with numerous digressions and unnecessary descriptions of every single nook and cranny of a futuristic world. Instead of delivering drama, or at least some kind of action, we are tortured by mindless preaching. Also, the author's tendency to pile up as much techno-futuristic jargon as possible is another weakness in the story. The society is divided into two classes: pre-selects and norms. The pre-selects are the ruling class who control wealth and resources. They are different from norms in many aspects. First, they are subjects of genetic pre-selection. Also, they tend to augment themselves by way of" nanites". What are the ninetes? The book is quite vague with respect to this question. This is, I believe, the best explanation I found in the book: "The octagonal ninetes are just programmed...cellular machines designed to analyze structures and react. If the cells aren't integral , or if there's foreign matter there, like augnites...they attack."In short, the nanites are some kind of artificial mechanisms located in the pre-selects' bodies. They make pre-selects stronger (physically and mentally) in comparison to "ordinary" norms. However, if compromised, the "nanites " can be deadly for anyone who carries them. Although these two classes coexist peacefully, the norms (a majority of population) are gradually becoming emboldened asking for more rights. We witness the street protests against the ruling class. Even riots. Since the protagonist of the novel Daryn Alwyn (pre-select himself) is the most powerful man in the world - and now target of assassins - he is now in a desperate quest to find out who is behind all of this. Are the norms involved? Or perhaps the rouge elements within the ruling elite? However, Daryn must act quickly. Another puzzling question: who is responsible for the plague which threatens to decimate the whole pre-select population? Why aren't the norms affected by the plague?Another theory: a long-dead alien race is programming nanitic attack machines and spraying them across the Galaxy. In short, this is the context in which the novel is set. The motifs and the ideas presented in the novel are certainly very interesting, but the narrative aspect of it is a huge failure.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
dk3dknight More than 1 year ago
This masterpiece is one that in my mind questions the position of media in this world, while taking place in the far future its easily in most cases either going to happen, or already is reality, except exploding clones... Its a chilling piece that reveals really just how much control the media have on the people, and in my mind the pursuit of truth or the medias construed observation of the truth. The story centers around the son of a major media network, who instead of following the family business decided he want to work as a space freighter pilot, when he returns a chain of events that were planed, perhaps the greatest revolution and a control of information. He doesn't realize it but hes in the middle of it as multiple attempts on his life are assured as he attempts to solve the mystery to discover why all this is happening, and then try to prove it... A excelent masterpiece provided to us by the Master WordSmith L. Modesitt, Jr.