The Metaconcert, Julian May (Intervention #2)

Written by Natalie Luhrs

I'm a lifelong geek with a passion for books and social justice. And I give absolutely no fucks.

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January 21, 2013

The Metaconcert, Julian May

The Metaconcert, Julian May

Hey! It’s our 100th post here at the Radish! And we still have lots of things to say! Whee!

And to celebrate, how about some more Julian May? (At this point, I know I’m about the only person who cares about these books and I do not care!)

The second half of Intervention is The Metaconcert and things are much darker in what, at the time, was the future but is now the past. That’s sort of the awesome thing about these books–the intervention part of things takes place in 2012.

My main complaint about this book is that there isn’t enough drunk Uncle Rogi or enough scenes with aliens–there’s a lot more political maneuvering amongst the various human factions and honestly, I find it kind of boring. I’d rather read more about the Remillard family–even about super-perfect Denis–than about politicians in Washington.

On the other hand, this book is episodic enough that if one section isn’t very interesting then there will be another one shortly.

The book ends with the Intervention–that is, all the aliens showing up to say hello and it feels really anti-climactic for some reason. I’m not sure why–possibly because I was really disengaged from most of the story. I don’t know.

Uncle Rogi continues to be awesome, though. And I did enjoy the bits with the evil operants and I wanted to know more about how Kieran O’Connor’s mind worked–especially in light of his relationship with his daughter and with Victor Remillard. Shannon O’Connor’s death is also extremely suggestive of things that will go down in the next set of books…

But one thing that strikes me as a fundamental flaw is this: for all the talk of the need for operants to be non-violent and to use peaceful means to achieve their goal of acceptance among the population, there is not a single mention of the civil rights movement in the US which was also a movement that was essentially non-violent. Or Indian independence from Great Britain, also a movement with a strong non-violent component. The only non-white players are literally inscrutable Asians or a Tibetan monk who ends up a martyr.  It just doesn’t sit right with me–and I know that’s not the story May was wanting to tell, but the sheer white man-ness of this story gets to be a bit much after a while.

So these two books are a useful bridge to the Galactic Milieu series, but I don’t know if they’re really worth reading outside of that context–I think that if I didn’t know that there were three more books to come that I wouldn’t have bothered finishing the second half of Intervention. It really just didn’t work for me. More drunk Uncle Rogi!

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