Book: The Graveyard Game by Kage Baker

Pretty good if you're a fan; read others in the series first if you're not

Kage Baker
The Graveyard Game
Harcourt, 2001 (This edition is out of print; a paperback edition has recently been published by Tor)
ISBN: 0-15-100449-8
298 pages

The Graveyard Game is one of Kage Baker's "Company" novels. In the series it fits between Mendoza in Hollywood and The Life of the World to Come. It's, more or less, about two Company operatives, Joseph and Lewis, who knew and liked Mendoza and their attempts to find out what happened to her after the end of Mendoza in Hollywood. They have to inquire secretly because, whatever happened, the Company probably either caused it or permitted it to happen and the Company doesn't encourage operatives to know more than they need to.

In the course of the book, we meet some interesting characters and we learn a little more about the origin of the Company. We also learn about some dissent among the ranks of Company operatives and the reason for it. And we get a few hints about what may happen after 2355, the latest date in the future that's ever heard from.

Alas, there's not much more to the book than that. Little is resolved. And there are some rather inelegant sections in which Joseph narrates summaries of future history to someone who didn't see it. Some of that history is interesting, but a synopsis of events isn't what we generally read novels for.

The Graveyard Game is interesting enough that a fan like me will be glad to read it even though it feels a bit like the middle movie in a trilogy. Someone new to Ms Baker's Company novels will do better to start with one of the earlier books.

Posted: Sat - April 9, 2005 at 06:00   Main   Category: