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Science Fiction Review: In The Company of Thieves by Kage Baker

In The Company of Thieves by Kage Baker (The Company)

Egalley courtesy of Tachyon Publications

Synopsis from Goodreads
Espionage, time travel, and affairs gone terribly wrong define this final collection of Kage Baker’s stories in the Company series. The employees of Dr. Zeus Incorporated have discovered a nearly foolproof recipe for success: combining time travel and immortals. The Company, a powerful corporate entity in the 24th century, specializes in retrieving extraordinary treasures out of the past, gathered by cybernetically enhanced workers who pass as ordinary humans. Whether a client wants a jewel worn by Cleopatra, an original Shakespeare folio, or to make a baby with the genes of Socrates and Marilyn Monroe, Dr. Zeus can make dreams come true. The one rule that cannot be broken is that the recorded particulars of history cannot be changed. Functioning with extreme stealth and caution, the Company strives to avoid the curiosity and greed of everyday people, which proves to be more difficult than anyone could have foreseen. Included in this exciting collection are four previously uncollected stories, “Mother Aegypt”—a classic tale of Transylvanian intrigue, and "Hollywood Ikons," a brand-new story from a collaboration with Kage’s sister, Kathleen Bartholomew.
Amazon  US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | The Book Depository US/UK | Fishpond


* * *
This is all my fault, ladies and gents.

Somehow, when I read the description on Netgalley, all I could see was that this was the book about time travel. Woohoo! I love time travel books. Well, what I failed to notice was that it was a collection of short stories from Kage Baker.

I hate short stories with a passion, that's why I avoid anthologies and rarely review novellas. There is just never enough time to immerse yourself into the story and fall in love with the characters.

In this case all the stories were connected to The Company which dabbled into time travel among other wonderful inventions. However there was very little actual time travel involved, and really the stories were pretty dry and reminded me of Gordon Dahlquist's style (although the latter is a much better writer).

The only story I enjoyed and appreciated was The Women of Nell Gwynne's. All the heroines were prostitutes employed by The Company, who were stuck in the castle trying to prevent a major invention being sold abroad. One of them - Lady Beatrice, was the most striking heroine, and I instantly fell in love with her spirit and her brazen red dresses.

Otherwise, this is not the most entertaining book, and I'm hesitant to recommend it to anyone who isn't a loyal fan of Kage Baker's works.

* * *
Ребятушки, какая скучная коллекция коротких рассказов от Кейдж Бэйкер! Я колебаюсь кому-то вообще это рекомендовать.

Моя вина конечно, что когда я запросила эту книгу на отзыв, всё что мне бросилось в глаза это волшебная фраза -  "путешествия во времени". Ура, я обожаю такие книги! А вот что я не заметила, так это то, что это был сборник рассказов вместо полноценного романа, а я просто ненавижу читать рассказы. Ну не моё это!

В Компании Воров, помимо всего, практически не рассказывает о путешествиях во времени, хотя они упоминаются как само собой разумеющееся событие в прошлом. Стиль очень сух и напоминает произведения Гордона Далквиста (только последний пишет гораздо лучше).

Единственный рассказ, что я читала с удовольствием был - Женщины Нелл Гвин - о группе проституток, работающих на Компанию и застрявших в замке, где один лорд-оппортунист пытается продать опасное изобретение за пределы страны. Главная героиня - Леди Беатрис, шикарнейший персонаж, в который невозможно не влюбиться, и после неё мне вообще ничего не хотелось читать.

В общем, никому книгу не рекомендую кроме верных поклонников Кейдж Бэйкер.

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