Genre: Science Fiction; Contemporary; Romance; Antihero/Superhero
Can a computer program in an artificial, human-seeming body learn what it means to really be human?
Still trying to learn how and why he ended up in the bottom of a massive radioactive crater, badly damaged, barely alive, and missing more than fifty years of memories, Christopher Alexander continues trying to piece together his life. And the list of potential suspects as to whom had gone to such lengths to see him dead keeps growing exponentially with each recovered memory.
Flight of Angels is the conclusion the Alexander Gambit trilogy, revealing why Zeke Whitaker and Chris Alexander had gone to such extraordinary lengths that they felt it necessary to create other personalities to share their body and the work load. Will they succeed? Or will decades of plans and labor all be for naught?
I have also reviewed these other titles by Robert Leonard:
The Alexander Gambit (book 1)
The Man Who Stole the Moon (Alexander Gambit book 2)
Hunter (Thomas Hunter book 1)
Hunted (Thomas Hunter book 2)
I’ve been looking forward to reading the conclusion of this trilogy for a while now and it was certainly worth the anticipation. Flight of Angels has twice as many obstacles, a helluva lot more sweat, and a definite rise in emotion.
Sixty years of meticulous preparation have brought Dr. Cristobal Alexander to the defining moment of his multi-lifelong goals. In order to save the human race from both outside forces and themselves, the doctor has revealed to the world news of an impending meteor strike which will have devastating effects if not dealt with. After allowing a few minutes of rightful panic, he then explains a scheme to handle the job through the use of sophisticated space crafts called Archangels.
He’s barely managing to spend any time with his surrogate family, thanks to the demands of being in the midst of this home stretch. Fortunately, he is able to squeeze in a vacation with Ana and Carmen. However, the much needed R&R is interrupted by a major development in his relationship with Ana. Having been vehemently against courting the young genius, this shift seems to act as a potential threat to the big picture.
That is until it begins to be Ana saving the day (in multiple ways and occasions) instead of the vigilante super-computer doctor. Contrary to Cristobal’s creator’s beliefs, it is the human bonds Cristobal continues to form that strengthen his resolve and ability to carry out their mission.
Everything from the trilogy was tied together very neatly in the end.
We got to see the progression of Dr. Alexander’s psyche from one-track computer program to perfectly human in all ways that matter. This includes the battle between going the easy route of becoming lord over humanity versus the difficult path of teaching them the necessity of working together for the good of all. The author also gives us a look into the future of the doctor’s love life and Earth’s next great/ongoing threats.
I particularly enjoyed how the complexity of Dr. Alexander’s morality throughout the series. Outside of the aforementioned ‘lord over vs teaching’ aspect, his character introduces several ethical dilemmas that are much more realistic than typical hero roles. On that note, there was specifically a debate regarding how superheroes are doomed to failure due to the ‘purity’ of their intended personality. I always like things like that which make me think.
So if any of this piques your interest, go check out The Alexander Gambit Trilogy and its companion novel The Wraith!
I feel obligated to comment on the nature of the doctor’s relationship with Ana as it may be offensive and even triggering. Ana has been in love with Dr. Alexander since she was first introduced at the start of teendom in book one. Whenever this is brought up, the only comments that are made are his insistence that she’s a child, that he’s not interested, and that the crush should be discouraged. In book three, they begin a relationship when she turns sixteen (the age of consent) upon realization that she is now not only mature in brain, but in body. The doctor is both older than and not as old as he is seen (being three different peoples’ memories in one). While I see this as immoral or at the very least suspicious in reality, this is a fictional story about an inhuman (except, in part, emotionally) being and an overall fluctuation of morality and ethics. So yes, it’s a good story, but no, I do not condone this sort of relationship.
((review also submitted to Amazon and Goodreads)
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~Sahreth ‘Baphy’ Bowden
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