“Covenant” tells the action packed story of a discovery in the middle east – what appear to be alien bones. Thus begins a race between factions to obtain the remains for themselves, and control the release – or suppression – of the information gleaned from them. Disillusioned former war correspondent, Ethan Warner, grudgingly joins the hunt, alongside archeologist Lucy Morgan, and Detective Nocola Lopez. Threads of information slowly emerge from amidst chunks of overly technical explanation, and result in a race to save the world.
I had high hopes for this book… but was disappointed (as perhaps you can tell from my less than exuberant plot outline above). The premise of the book was sound, and Crawford had clearly done his research. However, the story was in many parts contrived. There were pages and pages of technical scientific explanation, and long-winded description of the middle-eastern conflicts, that were beyond the comprehension of your average reader. This made some of the text pretty hard to get through. Even for people like myself, who regularly read books on similar topics, and are used to wading through law text books – the epitome of heavy reading – there was just far too complicated, and unnecessary.
Cramming so much technical information in was, despite the length of the novel, at the cost of character development. I didn’t really get a chance to ‘get to know’ any character in depth, except perhaps Ethan Warner. Even then, I usually get overly attached to characters, but there was no love lost when people tried to kill Warner – which happened often. What little character development you did get didn’t lend itself to a particularly likeable main character. It’s never a good thing when you’re not rooting for the protagonist to succeed!
Another frustration was that the three storylines didn’t really overlap and interact enough until the very end; rather, it was almost like reading three separate books. Not to mention the cliqued ending that more than paved the way for the upcoming sequel.
What had the promise to be a provoking story about the possibility of finding another species in the universe and the lengths that people would go to in protecting that information, became an overly complicated big guys with guns story.
It’s possible I’ll still pick up the sequel… Ok, I’ll be honest – I’ve actually already purchased both of the remaining books in the trilogy… But I haven’t read them, which says volumes! Don’t judge me, I’m rather OCD in my need to purchase an entire series once I have a portion of it. I’d be interested to find out the answer to the mystery that is Warner’s missing fiance, but past that I have little interest in how this story unravels. If you want to give it a try, you can get a copy here. Hopefully Crawford and his editors have learned a lesson and cut the technicalities for some character development.