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Kage Baker's trademark series of SF adventure continues now in a direct sequel to The Life of the World to Come. Mendoza was banished long ago, to a prison lost in time where rebellious immortals are "dealt with." Now her past lovers: Alec, Nicholas, and Bell-Fairfax, are determined to rescue her, but first they must learn how to live together, because all three happen to Kage Baker's trademark series of SF adventure continues now in a direct sequel to The Life of the World to Come. Mendoza was banished long ago, to a prison lost in time where rebellious immortals are "dealt with." Now her past lovers: Alec, Nicholas, and Bell-Fairfax, are determined to rescue her, but first they must learn how to live together, because all three happen to be sharing Alec's body. What they find when they discover Mendoza is even worse than what they could imagined, and enough for them to decide to finally fight back against the Company.


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Kage Baker's trademark series of SF adventure continues now in a direct sequel to The Life of the World to Come. Mendoza was banished long ago, to a prison lost in time where rebellious immortals are "dealt with." Now her past lovers: Alec, Nicholas, and Bell-Fairfax, are determined to rescue her, but first they must learn how to live together, because all three happen to Kage Baker's trademark series of SF adventure continues now in a direct sequel to The Life of the World to Come. Mendoza was banished long ago, to a prison lost in time where rebellious immortals are "dealt with." Now her past lovers: Alec, Nicholas, and Bell-Fairfax, are determined to rescue her, but first they must learn how to live together, because all three happen to be sharing Alec's body. What they find when they discover Mendoza is even worse than what they could imagined, and enough for them to decide to finally fight back against the Company.

30 review for The Machine's Child

  1. 4 out of 5

    Wanda Pedersen

    Baker has taken this in a direction that I was not expecting, which is delightful. She is setting up a rival to Dr Zeus Company, right under their noses, but undetected. I'm very taken with the possibilities of these details. That balances with one thing that's making me grumpy, namely Mendoza's three men sharing one body, which they access sequentially. Baker has them squabbling over who gets to spend time with their lady-love and I find it annoying. It also bugs me that since Mendoza has been Baker has taken this in a direction that I was not expecting, which is delightful. She is setting up a rival to Dr Zeus Company, right under their noses, but undetected. I'm very taken with the possibilities of these details. That balances with one thing that's making me grumpy, namely Mendoza's three men sharing one body, which they access sequentially. Baker has them squabbling over who gets to spend time with their lady-love and I find it annoying. It also bugs me that since Mendoza has been regenerated, no one is being straight with her. I think she should know about her three-in-one lover and more about their plans. Mind you, it seems to be Alec's artificial intelligence that is advocating keeping her in the dark and I'm not understanding his purposes just yet. Baker keeps tantalizing us with the mysterious date of 2355, where the historical records seem to end and the Silence begins. The conspiracy theories abound about what will happen or what might be possible. I do hope Baker plans to reveal the result and I have no doubt that it will be unexpected. I think all the speculation must be designed to mislead, or at least I hope so. Mendoza and Alec/Edward/Nicholas have been planting vials of nanobots in all kinds of out-of-the-way spots, awaiting the signal from their crafty AI, Captain Morgan. Although the Captain has been handed a new, complex problem to solve at the end of this book, but being artificial he should be able to handle several tasks at once. I'll return to Mendoza early next year (2023) to continue the tale. Oh, and just an idle observation, but these paperback covers are horrid! Book Number 463 of my Science Fiction and Fantasy Reading Project

  2. 5 out of 5

    Phoenixfalls

    Well, this was the one I was waiting for, but I'm rather sorry it is. . . Plenty of plot happened, characters that had been sidelined got reactivated and moved into position, and there was actually enough time travel that I no longer feel guilty calling this a time travel series. (Though what happened to time travel being horrendously expensive? I guess only making the machines is expensive, because using them certainly didn't seem to be.) Unfortunately, I absolutely hated Baker's rendition of th Well, this was the one I was waiting for, but I'm rather sorry it is. . . Plenty of plot happened, characters that had been sidelined got reactivated and moved into position, and there was actually enough time travel that I no longer feel guilty calling this a time travel series. (Though what happened to time travel being horrendously expensive? I guess only making the machines is expensive, because using them certainly didn't seem to be.) Unfortunately, I absolutely hated Baker's rendition of the major characters. Mendoza as an amnesiac was fine, though without her memory she also lost the passionate ferocity that made her so winning. But in this book Alec became a caricature, nothing but the squeamish child of the future that he struggled so hard to rebel against in The Life of the World to Come; Nicholas Harpole's faith was broken and, while that's understandable, Baker's treatment of it wasn't particularly gripping; and Edward, who at the start of the book was the only man of the three worthy of Mendoza, maintaining both his adulthood and his faith in Reason, quickly degenerated into a single-minded fanatic. While I agreed with Joseph's assessment of Nicholas' type in Sky Coyote, I could understand Mendoza's love for him because he did cut a wonderfully romantic ideal -- but that ideal is totally lost in this book, and I was left wanting to consign all three of them to Options Research. The worst tragedy for me, however, was that Joseph returned to the scene, and he got worked over far worse than Mendoza's loves did. He's been rogue since the end of The Graveyard Game, working on repairing Budu, and that time alone under Mount Tamalpais has apparently driven him insane. (How did his sanity hold up under 20,000 years of humanity's most horrifying acts, then break after only a couple of decades under the California coast?) The Joseph of The Machine's Child is a snivelling, whiny, twerp whose fixation on Mendoza is a bit creepy, and his father Budu doesn't seem like much of a prize either. I wanted to throw the book across the room every time a section from Joseph's perspective appeared. In fact, many things made me want to throw this book across the room. There was a great deal of cheap conflict arising from characters not taking two seconds to talk to one another; Joseph appears to have completely forgotten about Lewis, who I thought was his friend; the Mars Two thing still just doesn't feel real enough for so many characters to harp on it (though to be fair, that's a problem with The Life of the World to Come, not this volume). It wasn't all bad -- I did giggle at Mendoza and Alec/Edward/Nicholas shopping in the supermarket, and in a couple other places -- but overall this was worst book in the series so far, and if it had come earlier on I don't know if I would have continued. But I have invested a lot of time in this series and these characters, and there's only one book left, so I just hope that the conclusion puts right the things that went horrible wrong here.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    Despite my earlier glowing review of Kage Baker, I've read three of her books in as many weeks, and I have a complaint to lodge. Kage: you know I love the witty, well-realized worlds you create. The snappy dialogue. The varied, engaging characters. The compelling conflicts. All the ingredients are there; why can you not turn them into a story? Why does basic Aristotelean plot structure so totally elude you? My response to coming to end of each of your books has been "What? Am I missing pages?" Th Despite my earlier glowing review of Kage Baker, I've read three of her books in as many weeks, and I have a complaint to lodge. Kage: you know I love the witty, well-realized worlds you create. The snappy dialogue. The varied, engaging characters. The compelling conflicts. All the ingredients are there; why can you not turn them into a story? Why does basic Aristotelean plot structure so totally elude you? My response to coming to end of each of your books has been "What? Am I missing pages?" That's lazy book-writing, Petey.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kaethe

    November 11, 2006 Loved it. The series kicks over into serious goofiness, if you will, with three bickering lovers-of-Mendoza inhabiting a single body. Full-on robot screwball. With pontificating. *** February 7, 2015 I have more issues this time with the issue of consent, but also much more pleasure from the screwball aspect. Time-traveling space pirates, oi! The covers still look like hell to me, though. Library copy

  5. 4 out of 5

    Brooke

    This volume took me longer to get through than any of the other Company books because it was rather unfocused and unsatisfying. There didn't seem to be much happening; the characters spent the book transitioning and setting things up for the final showdown with Dr. Zeus. Mendoza is a shadow of her former self, and I was really annoyed with how she's infantilized here. Nicholas/Edward/Alec taking advantage of her lack of memory just left me feeling ick over and over and over. I also couldn't figur This volume took me longer to get through than any of the other Company books because it was rather unfocused and unsatisfying. There didn't seem to be much happening; the characters spent the book transitioning and setting things up for the final showdown with Dr. Zeus. Mendoza is a shadow of her former self, and I was really annoyed with how she's infantilized here. Nicholas/Edward/Alec taking advantage of her lack of memory just left me feeling ick over and over and over. I also couldn't figure out Edward's and Alec's attachments to her. The author has satisfactorily explained the spiffy persuasion powers that they have that made Mendoza obsessed with them, I can buy that. I can also buy that Nicholas spent a significant enough amount of time with her in In the Garden of Iden to have fallen for her, too. But Edward and Alec both knew her only briefly, and yet this book is filled with their fierce desire to possess and protect her. Joseph's character seemed off, especially after The Graveyard Game. I can't put my finger on what it is exactly, but he didn't seem like the same Joseph we've been reading about up to this point. I do have to give the author props for managing to make Nicholas/Edward/Alec three very distinct personalities. Even with their situation, there was never any confusion about which one of them was talking, and each of their different motivations felt very authentic.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Lady Knight

    While I love Kage Baker's "The Company" series, this installment is probably my least favorite. Alec and Captain Morgan (his AI) are back and are on the hunt through time to rescue Mendoza from Options Research. Along for the ride are Nicholas Harpole and Edward Bell-Fairfax who are now integrated into Alec's brain and the three must fight for control of Alec's body. Three, under the guidance of Captain Morgan, soon realize the true horror of the company and swear to bring it to its knees. Step While I love Kage Baker's "The Company" series, this installment is probably my least favorite. Alec and Captain Morgan (his AI) are back and are on the hunt through time to rescue Mendoza from Options Research. Along for the ride are Nicholas Harpole and Edward Bell-Fairfax who are now integrated into Alec's brain and the three must fight for control of Alec's body. Three, under the guidance of Captain Morgan, soon realize the true horror of the company and swear to bring it to its knees. Step One: Rescue Mendoza. Step Two: Find out all they can about project Adonai. Step Three: Cripple the Company. A secondary plot also surrounds Joseph and Budu plotting for 2355. Suleyman and Latif also make a few appearances. Enjoyable read but as I don't particularly like Alec, it was a lot tougher for me to get into the story over normal. More than anything this was a book bridging the gap between the two halves of the series and setting up for "Sons of Heaven".

  7. 5 out of 5

    Hester

    It took me a while to figure out that the title is about parent/child relationships: Josephus and Budu's child, Mendoza and Josephus' child, and Alec as the Captain's child. As always, I enjoyed the Captain tremendously, but I do not like Edward or Nicholas, so the relationships with Mendoza got old, fast. In addition, romance with a brain-washed magical woman who is almost programmed to adore her jerk lover is not my thing. It took me a while to figure out that the title is about parent/child relationships: Josephus and Budu's child, Mendoza and Josephus' child, and Alec as the Captain's child. As always, I enjoyed the Captain tremendously, but I do not like Edward or Nicholas, so the relationships with Mendoza got old, fast. In addition, romance with a brain-washed magical woman who is almost programmed to adore her jerk lover is not my thing.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Sir He-Man

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I love this series. I did not LOVE this entry. I liked it well enough. I had some problems with the flow of it, mainly. It doesn't seem to have the same ability to give you resolution the way the other books do. This review is FILLED with spoilers. Things I Liked: All the fun of finally getting to see characters time traveling back and forth of their own free will and volition, opting to meet Shakespeare and Robert Louis Stevenson. Those parts were great. Joseph trying to prevent Alec from ever b I love this series. I did not LOVE this entry. I liked it well enough. I had some problems with the flow of it, mainly. It doesn't seem to have the same ability to give you resolution the way the other books do. This review is FILLED with spoilers. Things I Liked: All the fun of finally getting to see characters time traveling back and forth of their own free will and volition, opting to meet Shakespeare and Robert Louis Stevenson. Those parts were great. Joseph trying to prevent Alec from ever being born was pretty funny. His failed revenge scheme in Jamaica was...bizarrely funny. The weird guy at the other end of time and wondering what his deal was. I'm still wondering what his deal was...it wasn't really explained what the hell he was doing there. Suleyman and Latif being fucking badasses and saving the imprisoned immortals who had been imprisoned along with Mendoza. I wish there was more backstory on how Nefer was Latif's adopted mother and raised him with Suleyman, because that sounds like it could have worked great as a chapter on its own. Some of the more philosophical passages about Nicholas and Edward being disembodied programs who are now living parallel to Alec and he occasionally lets them have control. Some of the arguing and fighting could have been more interesting. It just came across as tedious after a while. I liked the process of them working together as a team. Mendoza and Alec in the 1990s trudging around a supermarket and marveling at the time before it all went to hell gave me remarkable deja vu. Kage predicted correctly about how freedom of speech would go out the window and she saw the rise of vegetarianism as a political movement, which is increasingly making it into the news these days. The fact that she predicted the fall of America and civil war would occur by the 2030s is not far off from what could happen. She also posits that in Alec's time, all vices have been banned: alcohol, sugar, caffeine, tobacco, everything that costs money in a socialist medical system will be banned. And I have to wonder how far off her prediction will be in the coming years. It doesn't seem that unlikely at this point. Things I Didn't Like: The reconstruction of Mendoza's body resulting in her being physically 14 was...not comfortable for me. I decided not to picture this at all. I just kept picturing Mendoza at an immortal 18. Because otherwise it's just unfortunately gross. I really wish I could like Captain Henry Morgan more. He starts to become less one-note near the end, but for the most part I really wanted him to give us more of what he was thinking in terms of the big picture regarding Mendoza. I really didn't like him going along with the delusions Alec was feeding Mendoza. In fact, this really irritated me and kind of ruined both of their characters for me. They're lying to her about Alec being an immortal cyborg just like her when he was genetically created and therefore a unique Company experiment? How does that even make sense? Why do you need to protect her from that to begin with? What? This was a really stupid thing for both of these characters to do and one of them is supposed to be a remarkably brilliant AI. This plotline really doesn't bring anything to the overall story and we don't even get to see a major fight over it when she realizes he lied. It was a cop out not to have any consequences over that at all. The story didn't need that plot point because it barely resulted in conflict, and it should have. It just didn't fit. There was enough conflict going on over Edward, since his character went full insane evil scientist. Which brings me to how gross it is that Edward plotted to be reincarnated as Mendoza's baby. What. Just. I just... No. Stop that. Amazingly, this was a plot that American Dad used at one point where Hayley gave birth to Jeff after he had been abducted by aliens. I haven't seen much of that show since I saw that episode. Because...ew. Okay, apart from the absurdity of that, why wouldn't you just try and wait for the day that technology could give you a clone body or something. How about not leaping right to that as a solution. It's just very uncomfortable. The fact that he tries to convince her to give birth to a baby and she wouldn't even know it's Edward is beyond creepy. So that brings us to the ending, which had one of the most unexpected scenes in all of literature. So, they are wind up in the deep past again, but it's not that deep. The furthest back you can go is the research center Alec and company steal from, where the one human guy has been leading a very boring life with AIs. Is he brainwashed or does he not know that he's interacting with artificial intelligences? There's a "Lost" style mystery of him pushing a button in a room somewhere, and it's important for the Company...very important. But vague. I'm thinking it has something to do with keeping time travel possible for them later on? Anyway, so at the end, it's very unexplained, but Mendoza downloads all of the Captain's information about the Company and she almost goes catatonic because it's way too much for her. Presumably she understands everything that we the readers understand and more. The Captain is somehow suddenly more than a hologram? I think? Keep in mind, they are back in time maybe 300,000 years in the past. 500,000 is the absolute limit. So then Alec gets hacked by Edward and he locks Alec's consciousness up inside a virtual prison along with Nicholas, betraying them both. Edward Bell Fairfax Alton is a cunt. He has a cunt name, and he's just a cunt of a disembodied clone spirit. So he takes over, and then... Are you fucking ready for this one? A fucking ichthyosaur jumps out of the water and bites his fucking leg off. An ichthyosaur. They died out 65 million years ago, but Kage magically brings one up, and we are left with questions. How did the ichthyosaur not die off? Did we never find its remains from the age of the dinosaurs til now but it was there, swimming around? I mean, it defies logic, yes, but in a fun way. Because at this point, I really didn't want Alec to get hurt, but something had to stop Edward, so it may as well been the most random ever surprise "dinosaurs aren't actually extinct" scene I've ever read...and I did not see that coming...at all. Sure it may be possible that ichthyosaurs were somehow around a few hundred thousand years ago and that they went extinct between then and now. Science fiction is goofy. Sometimes, you have scenes which are more out there than others. I know I'll never forget that scene. I hate to give this book a 3 because I love the series as a whole. But it irritated me. I waded through parts of it and I'm definitely enjoying the last book in the series, Sons of Heaven, much more than I did this book. So I can report that it does get better. I am only 10% into SOH but so far so good.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Robert Nolin

    The Company series began with a strong first novel, "In the Garden of Iden." Baker's knowledge of Elizabethan England, plus some fairly strong characterization, made for a compelling read. At the end of that book, our Mary Sue heroine's lover dies a martyr's death. The second book, "Sky Coyote," shows a second immortal, Joseph, saving a primitive tribe from genocide. Again, this was a strong book, with convincing historical and anthropological details, and no love interest. Alas, beginning with The Company series began with a strong first novel, "In the Garden of Iden." Baker's knowledge of Elizabethan England, plus some fairly strong characterization, made for a compelling read. At the end of that book, our Mary Sue heroine's lover dies a martyr's death. The second book, "Sky Coyote," shows a second immortal, Joseph, saving a primitive tribe from genocide. Again, this was a strong book, with convincing historical and anthropological details, and no love interest. Alas, beginning with the third book, "Mendoza in Hollywood," we return to Mary Sue Land, with the lover from book one somehow resurrected. He dies horribly, too, only to show up in later books in yet a third incarnation. By the current book, all three of these men cohabit the body of the third incarnation, Alec. How? Don't ask. This is fantasy pretending it's SF. "The Machine's Child" is an Anglophile Mary Sue's wet dream, with Englishmen from Elizabethan, Victorian, and the future all vying for a chance to inhabit the one body they share so they can jump Mary Sue's (Mendoza's) bones. They cruise the world and through time, shopping and having sex. Mendoza, once smart and sassy (and likable) has become a giggling bimbo. Joseph, too, bears little resemblance to the smart, competent Facilitator we saw in "Sky Coyote." And through it all, Alec's childhood AI play friend, Captain Morgan, continues to ramble on in his annoying Talk Like a Pirate Day shtick. Ten years ago, these books seemed a lot of fun. They haven't held up very well. I signed on to re-read them, but getting through this one was a slog. I hope the final book is better, though I'm not holding my breath.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Althea Ann

    I've been working my way through this series slowly. (No rush now, since there's no more to come... :-( ) The last few entries into the series have been wildly divergent, focusing on different characters, times, and places - but with 'The Machine's Child,' the different strands of this time-travel story rejoin. The botanist Mendoza's three true loves: the 23rd-century aristo Alec Checkerfield, the Elizabethan religious zealot Nicholas, and the Victorian assassin Edward, are all stuck in one body, I've been working my way through this series slowly. (No rush now, since there's no more to come... :-( ) The last few entries into the series have been wildly divergent, focusing on different characters, times, and places - but with 'The Machine's Child,' the different strands of this time-travel story rejoin. The botanist Mendoza's three true loves: the 23rd-century aristo Alec Checkerfield, the Elizabethan religious zealot Nicholas, and the Victorian assassin Edward, are all stuck in one body, sharing (and bickering over) control and consciousness. Mendoza is (unfortunately) stuck in an amnesiac 14-yr-old body for the bulk of the novel. As the strongest character in the series, this creates a void where her forceful passions would have been... Still, it was fascinating to see Baker bring elements of her epic together here, and lay more clues as to what horrific events may occur in 2355. I've managed to avoid spoilers so far... on to the last two books, soon!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Joy

    You can't kill an immortal cyborg, but you can spend eternity trying. This time Mendoza has been sentenced to Options Research, where they do just that. When her triune lover Nicholas/Edward/Alec rescue her and discover what has been done to her, they plot vengeance on the company--and their own incarnations--come the Silence of 2355. Meanwhile, Mendoza's father-figure Joseph is on a similar quest of his own--one that brings him into conflict with Alec. Very good, although for much of this book You can't kill an immortal cyborg, but you can spend eternity trying. This time Mendoza has been sentenced to Options Research, where they do just that. When her triune lover Nicholas/Edward/Alec rescue her and discover what has been done to her, they plot vengeance on the company--and their own incarnations--come the Silence of 2355. Meanwhile, Mendoza's father-figure Joseph is on a similar quest of his own--one that brings him into conflict with Alec. Very good, although for much of this book one gets the feeling that Baker is setting the scene for the next book--it has that sort of transitional feel.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Carolannie

    I started the series greatly enjoying the contrasts between women's roles throughout the eras and the ability to overcome those boundaries, but ended up getting bored with what seemed more like magical flitting back and forth between events without any overarching direction except the desire to rule all the world all the time. The Russian doll concept of the Company ends up being trite, and the battle between the Immortals and the real Company, while I am sure is full of deep symbolism, struck m I started the series greatly enjoying the contrasts between women's roles throughout the eras and the ability to overcome those boundaries, but ended up getting bored with what seemed more like magical flitting back and forth between events without any overarching direction except the desire to rule all the world all the time. The Russian doll concept of the Company ends up being trite, and the battle between the Immortals and the real Company, while I am sure is full of deep symbolism, struck me as being trite and too easily devolved into magic scenarios.I think the fact that I hate the laziness of just so stories (and it just happened!Magic!) probably accounts for my boredom.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ron Henry

    Readable, much lighter tone, though this Company series installment indulges in some of the glib cheekiness that sometimes annoys me with Baker's books. But the story is fairly compelling, even if the seams in the "fix-up" (these later Company books were obviously assembled from short stories previously published in SF magazines) show a bit. Still, very readable as all Baker's Company books have been. Readable, much lighter tone, though this Company series installment indulges in some of the glib cheekiness that sometimes annoys me with Baker's books. But the story is fairly compelling, even if the seams in the "fix-up" (these later Company books were obviously assembled from short stories previously published in SF magazines) show a bit. Still, very readable as all Baker's Company books have been.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Vaughn

    a great conceit, but irritating after a while. this is one of those books you flip through for plot alone.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jenny Yates

    This was fun, but it’s not quite up to the standard of the first four books in this series. So Mendoza has been rescued, which is great. And in this book, she and Alec sail all over (through time, as well as space) in his pirate ship, looking for bits of his DNA so they can make him immortal too. They have lots of adventures along the way, and I enjoy the world that Kage Baker has created, with its intricate layers of mortals and immortals, all interacting without always realizing it. But there This was fun, but it’s not quite up to the standard of the first four books in this series. So Mendoza has been rescued, which is great. And in this book, she and Alec sail all over (through time, as well as space) in his pirate ship, looking for bits of his DNA so they can make him immortal too. They have lots of adventures along the way, and I enjoy the world that Kage Baker has created, with its intricate layers of mortals and immortals, all interacting without always realizing it. But there aren’t any amazing plot twists in this one, and the ending seems rather inconclusive. Inside Alec’s head there exist the personalities of his past two lifetimes – Nicholas and Edward – both of whom Mendoza fell in love with at various points in history. The three argue a lot, and try to wrest control of the body. For some reason, Alec never mentions this to Mendoza, who thinks he’s a bit brain-damaged, or perhaps a multiple personality. In fact, quite a few things are kept from Mendoza, and her recent trauma has also induced some amnesia. So in this book, she doesn’t have her usual flash. She just goes along with all the things that Alec, or his alter egos, come up with, like a good little woman. So you have all this “great love” stuff, but the actual lovers seem bland, in spite of the glamor of their lifestyle. Meanwhile, Captain Morgan, the electronic entity who controls the ship and protects Alec, communicates with all three of them and with Mendoza besides. He’s actually the most vivid character in this one. There are a lot of tussles for power between him and Alec’s alter egos, since each of them has his own agenda, and the Captain is trying to keep Alec alive and in command. Alec is traumatized from his recent (inadvertent) role in a mass murder, so he doesn’t have a lot of bounce in this book either.

  16. 4 out of 5

    tatterpunk

    I used to ask myself: "Self, why did you never finish the Company novels? You really loved that series." Then I got to the 95% mark of this one, and remembered why. This is where Baker loses the plot. (view spoiler)[ Edward/Alec/Nicholas constantly infantilize Mendoza in their POV, referring to her as a "little girl" or her defenseless "little body." This would be a minor complaint except Baker MAKES her little, regressing her back to fourteen physically for... reasons? It doesn't put a stop to t I used to ask myself: "Self, why did you never finish the Company novels? You really loved that series." Then I got to the 95% mark of this one, and remembered why. This is where Baker loses the plot. (view spoiler)[ Edward/Alec/Nicholas constantly infantilize Mendoza in their POV, referring to her as a "little girl" or her defenseless "little body." This would be a minor complaint except Baker MAKES her little, regressing her back to fourteen physically for... reasons? It doesn't put a stop to the sex marathons, so whatever. Mendoza is also mind-wiped, and "restarts" as barely verbal and childlike. Again, there is still sex. Even when she recovers she is... she's not Mendoza. She's Mendoza-lite, cured of all angst and anger. She's a sex doll. Her purpose is to be loved by the narrative favorite of Edward/Alec/Nicholas, and further their plotlines. I first dropped this book when it gets to Edward's plans to siphon off his other selves, reclaim the body for himself, and force them into embryonic clones for Mendoza to bear. It was so gross the first time I encountered it, it put me off finishing the series for over a decade. I powered through this time. "Surely it won't happen," I thought. "Surely this is about Alec integrating all his memories and lives and becoming whole through this trauma, not some weird triple-godhead divinity with eugenicist overtones." This is a spoiler for the next book, but it's less of a spoiler than a warning: I was wrong. (hide spoiler)] The only worthwhile part of this book is Joseph, and the only scene that made me laugh was between Joseph and Mendoza. What a sad come-down for the series; but it only gets worse from here.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kathi

    All the layers that author Kage Baker has built up in her Company series are starting to unpeel, or maybe it’s better to say all the threads she has woven into the tapestry that is The Company series are finally making a complete scene—or else they are all unraveling. What with all the time travel and characters (mortal, immortal, and recombinant) going rogue, it’s a bit hard to tell sometimes. But really, the series is building to a climax and this installment moves the plot along smartly.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Gregory Hodkgins

    Mendoza’s Back in a fury of blue flame Absolutely great Company novel. The intriguing search for Mendoza by Joseph and Alec flits through time and space and ends in a spectacular fight in the Caribbean, home to pirates. Lots of suspense and action in this one as we get closer and closer to the year of 2355 when the lights go out for The Company. The last few pages are quite exciting and surprising. Can’t wait to get to the next in the series.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Chris Ellis

    I think I may have missed a few installments that are needed for a full understanding of this series. I enjoy Kage Baker, and The Company Series, but this is the first time I feel like I should have read them in the correct order. I've read bits and pieces of all of the characters stories, but not enough to put it all together here. I think I may have missed a few installments that are needed for a full understanding of this series. I enjoy Kage Baker, and The Company Series, but this is the first time I feel like I should have read them in the correct order. I've read bits and pieces of all of the characters stories, but not enough to put it all together here.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Alicia

    https://wordnerdy.blogspot.com/2020/0... So a lot happens in this book, but also nothing really happens in this book? It goes to some frankly creepy places and I am really not sure I like where it landed. I am still invested in Mendoza, and the pirate AI, and Joseph, and Suleyman and Latif, but I am pretty worried about where things are heading. B. https://wordnerdy.blogspot.com/2020/0... So a lot happens in this book, but also nothing really happens in this book? It goes to some frankly creepy places and I am really not sure I like where it landed. I am still invested in Mendoza, and the pirate AI, and Joseph, and Suleyman and Latif, but I am pretty worried about where things are heading. B.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    I'll admit that these books are blending together, and I'm becoming impatient to find out what happens in the year 2355. The world keeps expanding, and I'm having trouble remembering what I need to, but still along for the ride. I'll admit that these books are blending together, and I'm becoming impatient to find out what happens in the year 2355. The world keeps expanding, and I'm having trouble remembering what I need to, but still along for the ride.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Aaron

    This is brilliant as usual, but this series is very intricately plotted, and I had great difficulty remembering who all the characters were and what they had done and why. A plot synopsis of the previous books at the beginning would have been very useful.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ray

    The series comes to a head in this version. It's an interesting construction: in some ways the scope of the story shrinks in comparison to the other novels, but this volume's sweep through time the grandest of the lot. Well crafted. The series comes to a head in this version. It's an interesting construction: in some ways the scope of the story shrinks in comparison to the other novels, but this volume's sweep through time the grandest of the lot. Well crafted.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Faith

    Love the series as a whole, but this is a pretty weak installment.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Mrsculpepper

    love how everything is starting to tie back together

  26. 5 out of 5

    Data

    More of Baker's "magic", all smoke and mirrors and science. Trip through time with the multiple personality Alec Checkerfield and his own personal immortal, Mendoza. More of Baker's "magic", all smoke and mirrors and science. Trip through time with the multiple personality Alec Checkerfield and his own personal immortal, Mendoza.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Marsha Valance

    Rescued by Cyborg Captain Morgan, Mendoza joins with her psychically conjoined lovers Nicholas, Edward and Alex, to attack The Company.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ward Bond

    From Publishers Weekly In Baker's fast-paced new Company novel, the sequel to The Life of the World to Come (2004), Alec Checkerfield shares his cyborg body uncomfortably with the Recombinant personalities of 19th-century spy Edward Bell-Fairfax and 16th-century scholar Nicholas Harpole. Each man, in his own time, worked for—and was betrayed by—Dr. Zeus Inc. (aka the Company), which uses time travel to recover and hoard important historical artifacts. In their quest to destroy the Company From Publishers Weekly In Baker's fast-paced new Company novel, the sequel to The Life of the World to Come (2004), Alec Checkerfield shares his cyborg body uncomfortably with the Recombinant personalities of 19th-century spy Edward Bell-Fairfax and 16th-century scholar Nicholas Harpole. Each man, in his own time, worked for—and was betrayed by—Dr. Zeus Inc. (aka the Company), which uses time travel to recover and hoard important historical artifacts. In their quest to destroy the Company, Checkerfield and his unlikely partners must rescue Mendoza, an immortal female cyborg and Company botanist each fell in love with in his own time, from a Company torture facility. Though Mendoza herself is more plot device than character, Baker invests the book with plenty of inventive energy and absurdity. From Booklist Mendoza's three lovers inhabit the body of one--Alec--uneasily, for all they agree on is loving Mendoza. Alec's pirate AI, Captain Morgan, aims to rescue Mendoza from the Company's prison for immortals, where, although it is nearly impossible to kill an inmate, the guard has been persistent, and Mendoza has been almost destroyed. Still, she is healed, albeit with extremely significant gaps in her memory. Between Alec's enemies chasing the rescue party and Morgan's daring plans leading to many Company facilities and tantalizing information about the cloning program that created Alec, a lovely addition to the Company saga. Biography From Wikipedia - Kage Baker Born: June 10, 1952, Hollywood, California, U.S. Died: January 31, 2010 (aged 57), Pismo Beach, California, U.S. Genres: Science fiction, Fantasy Kage Baker (June 10, 1952 – January 31, 2010) was an American science fiction and fantasy writer. She was born in Hollywood, California and lived there and in Pismo Beach most of her life. Before becoming a professional writer she spent many years in theater, including teaching Elizabethan English as a second language. She is best known for her "Company" series of historical time travel science fiction. Her first stories were published in Asimov's Science Fiction in 1997, and her first novel, In the Garden of Iden, by Hodder & Stoughton in the same year. Other notable works include Mendoza in Hollywood (novel, 2000) and "The Empress of Mars" (novella, 2003), which won the Theodore Sturgeon Award and was nominated for a Hugo Award. Her unusual first name (pronounced like the word "cage") is a combination of the names of her two grandmothers, Kate and Genevieve. In 2008, she donated her archive to the department of Rare Books and Special Collections at Northern Illinois University. In 2009, her short story "Caverns of Mystery" and her novel House of the Stag were both nominated for World Fantasy Awards, but neither piece won. In January 2010, it was reported that Baker was seriously ill with cancer. She died from uterine cancer at approximately 1:00 a.m. on January 31, 2010 in Pismo Beach, California. In 2010, Baker's The Women of Nell Gwynne's was nominated for a Hugo Award and a World Fantasy Award in the Best Novella categories. On May 15, 2010, that work was awarded the 2009 Nebula Award in the Best Novella category.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kerry

    REREAD #1: 27 September 2018 - 30 September 2018 (9/10) Pretty much everything I said last time, although on this read I've knocked off a point for the hazy consent issue that is the boys and the Captain choosing to keep lying to Mendoza. I get why they did it, but it's still decidedly blurred, especially in the current #metoo climate. ORIGINAL READ: 2 August 2007 - 4 August 2007 (10/10) Mendoza was banished long ago, to a prison lost in time where rebellious immortals are "dealt with." Now her pas REREAD #1: 27 September 2018 - 30 September 2018 (9/10) Pretty much everything I said last time, although on this read I've knocked off a point for the hazy consent issue that is the boys and the Captain choosing to keep lying to Mendoza. I get why they did it, but it's still decidedly blurred, especially in the current #metoo climate. ORIGINAL READ: 2 August 2007 - 4 August 2007 (10/10) Mendoza was banished long ago, to a prison lost in time where rebellious immortals are "dealt with." Now her past lovers: Alec, Nicholas, and Bell-Fairfax, are determined to rescue her, but first they must learn how to live together, because all three happen to be sharing Alec's body. What they find when they discover Mendoza is even worse than what they could imagined, and enough for them to decide to finally fight back against the Company. It is getting harder and harder to comment on Baker's Company series without major spoilers as I get closer and closer to the resolution. This volume is in many ways a direct sequel to The Life of the World to Come, as Nicholas, Edward and Alec, all fighting for the use of Alec's body, try to work together well enough to resuce Mendoza. I loved the book, although it didn't work out exactly as I expected it to - which I guess is the sign of a good author, that she can continue to surprise me at the point where she is beginning to pull all her story lines together and work towards a resolution. Without any major spoilers, I expected more of an action story, where it took the whole book to resuce Mendoza, rather than what I got, which was much more character oriented and focused on the relationship between Edward, Alec and Nicholas and their individual and combined relationships with Mendoza - not to mention the progression of the plans of all the other characters as the Silence grows closer and closer. I don't think I'm giving away too much to say that Mendoza is actually rescued early on, but as is usual in Baker's world, this doesn't make for a tidy conclusion to the plotline, but the beginning of more complications. Baker continues to keep what should be way too many balls in the air without them all colliding and crashing down. She also continues to tell a great tale that captures the reader and keeps them glued to the page. I'm very glad I did wait to read this one until I had The Sons of Heaven waiting for me, as I was opening its pages almost as soon as I closed the covers of The Machine's Child. I have only one real complaint - that I still don't clearly understand what happened with the Captain and Mendoza right at the very end, even now that I've finished the next book as well. It hasn't brought down my grade because I was so captivated by the book, but if someone can explain, I'd be very grateful. The Machine's Child Kage Baker 10/10 [Copied from LibraryThing.]

  30. 5 out of 5

    Lissa Notreallywolf

    So the title refers to Cap't Morgan, the minder of Alec. As a child, Alec modified his AI nanny's operating system, changing him from a benign sea captain figure to a pirate by over-riding his ethics control. It's in this novel that Alec is reunited with his former selves, all lovers of Mendoza. This odd triumvirate go to save Mendoza from her incarceration in an experimental medical facility overseen by a mad enforcer, Marcus. The Punitive Medicine Project is the Company's way of punishing it's So the title refers to Cap't Morgan, the minder of Alec. As a child, Alec modified his AI nanny's operating system, changing him from a benign sea captain figure to a pirate by over-riding his ethics control. It's in this novel that Alec is reunited with his former selves, all lovers of Mendoza. This odd triumvirate go to save Mendoza from her incarceration in an experimental medical facility overseen by a mad enforcer, Marcus. The Punitive Medicine Project is the Company's way of punishing it's rogue operatives, although some, like Mendoza's father in immortality, Joseph, are still on the loose. Joseph has been framed as the virus king after he leaks the existence of the punitive medical experiment camp to Suleyman. Some how this plot twist felt familiar, where the whistleblower is blamed for a greater crime than the one to which he is calling attention. In fact many operatives seem to be on the loose, and many have met ignoble ends by the manipulations of the Company. The cyborgs have noticed that the enforcer class has almost entirely gone invisible, that defective cyborgs exist, that some cyborgs have revolted. The Company has also allowed the experiment that is Alec, or Nicolas or Edward entirely run amok, except that the illiterate version, Alec was allowed to carry a bomb to Mars, which cleansed the planet of a troublesome population. We know the Company is far from benign. It is of course a profit making venture that enslaves children, modifying them into immortals. In Nicholas/Edward/Alec or the Adonia series it has created a recombinant, an illegal stew of genetic material matured in various surrogate mothers across time. The Captain, Alec's AI minder is now looking to repeat that experiment to extend Alec's abilities, to make him more like the cyborg he loves, Mendoza. And of course to make him the Master of the Universe. Meanwhile the clock is winding down to point where the Company has ceased to exist. I think one of the charms of this series is that you are given vignettes of living in different times, but never long enough to get bored-except perhaps when Mendoza was sentenced to being an agricultural drone from about a thousand years. But even there you only read about her corn project, her success in creating good tamales out of company rations, her makeshift house on Catalina Island before the dawn of mankind. You know she's been affected by solitary confinement and is having temporal lapses, but the writing is never tedious. yes this is part of the other Child title. My point being that you get a taste of Amsterdam in the 1700's, glimpse of Haiti at the same time, a visit to Shakespeare's Stratford on Avon, 1996 in a San Francisco supermarket where the couple enjoys a consumer excess that even surprises the natives. It's never boring and never entirely satisfying. Baker entices one with history, scenes from the past while telling her science fiction story of not so good against really bad.

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