Book: Mendoza in Hollywood by Kage Baker

As much fun as her other Company novels

Kage Baker
Mendoza in Hollywood
Harcourt, 2002
ISBN: 0-15-100448-X
334 pages

Mendoza in Hollywood is another of Kage Baker's Company novels. We met Mendoza in the novel In the Garden of Iden where she was rescued from the Spanish Inquisition as a child and made into an immortal cyborg botanist by a shadowy 24th century organization called Dr Zeus (commonly referred to as the Company). In this book, Mendoza is posted to Hollywood to continue her work of sending soon-to-be-extinct plants back to the 24th century. Since it's 1862, Hollywood doesn't have much glamor. Indeed, it doesn't seem to have much of anything other than the stagecoach inn that's a front for the work of Mendoza and the other immortals who are posted there.

Mendoza in Hollywood is as much fun as Ms Baker's other novels. It's an enormously entertaining trip through some interesting history.

There's a bit more dramatic tension here than there is in Ms Baker's previous books, especially since the narrative is set up a sort of de-briefing or interrogation of Mendoza, and that suggests that something bad must have happened. Most of the actual tension comes within a few pages of the end. But that doesn't bother me any more than the near-absence of dramatic tension bothered me in Ms Baker's other books. The characters and the trip through history are what the book is about and on those counts, Ms Baker succeeds very thoroughly. There are a couple of passages that get a bit talky, but they're tiny flaws in a very enjoyable book.

Posted: Wed - May 12, 2004 at 10:00   Main   Category: