I have to apologize for these short, superficial reviews. I am trying to compensate for six months of sloth. A lot of book bloggers review books in the hope of becoming writers, editors, getting free books, encouraging others to read, or simply sharing their opinions. I review to remember. I don't want to forget books so easily (irrespective of quality). I've had a tough time recalling what I've read since January. It's not the memory lapses pertaining to the story or characters that bothers me most. It's the memory of having liked the book or hating it or plopping myself somewhere in the middle and finding no explanation as to why I took this stance.
Firebird falls in the middle category of books I'm impassive about and can't really recall why. This is apparently the sixth novel in the Alex Benedict series and I haven't read any of them. Thankfully, Firebird is an autonomous story save a couple of allusions to earlier events. A scientist, Chris Robin, disappears under mysterious circumstances from his seaside home and his now dead wife's sister approaches an agency to sell items from the estate. Alex Benedict and his partner Chase Kolpath (their profession wasn't really very clear to me - auctioneers, profiteers, private dicks, PR people?) start investigating what Robin was working on before his disappearance. It turns out that Robin was interested in the strange disappearance and temporary reappearance of ordinary spaceships. This thread of the plot takes us into the realm of black holes and parallel universes. A parallel story takes Chases and Kolpath to an off-limits planet where the machines have run amok and been partying for centuries without any human supervision. This plot line explores the nature of artificial intelligence. I can't remember if these two bits about parallel universes and artificial intelligence are reconciled. Maybe, they were.
Firebird is a fairly well-constructed novel but I didn't find it compelling enough to want to read other books in the series.