In the far future, an indestructible and massive canal more than 2,000 miles long spans the mid-continent of Earth. Nothing can mar it, move it, or affect it in any fashion. At its western end, where it meets the sea, is an equally indestructible structure comprising three levels of seemingly empty chambers. Scientists from three different civilizations, separated in time by hundreds of thousands of years, are investigating the canal. In the most distant of these civilizations, religious rebellion is brewing. A plot is hatched to overthrow the world government of the Vanir, using a weapon that can destroy anything-except the canal. If used at full power it might literally unravel the universe and destroy all life forever. The lives and fates of all three civilizations become intertwined as the forces behind the canal react to the threat, and all three teams of scientists find their lives changed beyond belief.At the publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management software (DRM) applied.
From Publishers WeeklyProlific author Modesitt (Imager's Intrigue) stumbles with this tedious tale of a far future in which a new ice age threatens Earth, and a vast canal, built by an ancient civilization, splits the world's central continent for no readily discernible reason. Even more glacial than the ice is the narrative, replete with whole chapters that could have profitably been rewritten into single paragraphs or even single sentences. Occasional hints of international tension show promise, but the characters are no more than blandly chattering ciphers, and the distant epoch lacks so much detail that it might as well be the present day. While there might be some appeal for the hardest of hardcore Modesitt fans, new readers would be well advised to start reading elsewhere.
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From BooklistFar in the future, a massive, indestructible canal spans the midcontinent of Earth, splitting it in two. In 1331 RE, married scientists Maertyn and Maarlyna see threats to the climate in the increased glacial activity they observe. They are looking for clues that could explain the canal, but also face a budget crisis that could end their research. In 2471 RE, scientists Eltyn and Faelyna are studying the canal, trying to learn what they can before a massive drought destroys the land. In the meantime, their hive society falls to civil war. In 3123, researchers Duhyle and Helkira are studying the canal when insurrectionists rise against the global government, using a weapon that could destroy the planet and possibly the entire universe. The scientists of all three cultures find themselves pulled into a joint effort to stop this destruction, by the forces that built and maintain the canal. The plot is classic, but in his pictures of three different societies fighting the same battle, Modesitt shows that cultures may change but people don’t. A provocative, enthralling story. --Frieda Murray