The Ecolitan Operation: I’d like to see where this is going

The Ecolitan Operation by L.E. Modesitt Jr science fiction and fantasy book and audiobook reviewsThe Ecolitan Operation by L.E. Modesitt Jr

The Ecolitan Operation by L.E. Modesitt Jr science fiction and fantasy book and audiobook reviewsMajor Jimjoy Wright is the Empire’s most successful secret agent. That’s because he’s strong, brave, clever, deceptive, ruthless, and totally goal-oriented. Once he accepts a mission from his government, nothing gets in his way. He always gets the job done.

Though JimJoy thinks he’s highly ethical, most people would find his consequentialism to be psychopathic. For example, JimJoy is responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of innocent people. This doesn’t bother him because if he hadn’t destroyed them, millions of other innocent people probably would have died (it’s like an extreme version of the Trolley Problem).

The fall-out from JimJoy’s actions are causing problems for his government and now he has become a liability. Instead of just firing him, though, they try to get rid of him by attempting assassination. This was a big mistake because after they fail, and now their best agent has become their worst nightmare.

Seeking refuge, JimJoy travels to a planet called Accord, the home of the Ecolitan Institute, a think-tank that hates everything the Empire stands for. The Ecolitans think JimJoy might be a spy so they don’t trust him, but they’re eager to recruit him to their side.

Ecolitan Matter (4 book series) Kindle Edition by L. E. Modesitt Jr. (Author)As JimJoy lives at the Institute, studies with them, and learns their philosophies and tactics, he finds himself tempted to defect. From the Ecolitan’s perspective, JimJoy’s defection from the Empire would be a huge victory for them. But some of the Ecolitans realize that an alliance with JimJoy could represent either the Ecolitans’ survival or their destruction.

The Ecolitan Operation (1989) is, according to internal chronology but not publication date, the first book in L.E. Modesitt Jr’s THE ECOLITAN MATTER quartet. It’s recognizably Modesittian, with all the little quirks I’ve mentioned in my reviews of his other work. There are way too many descriptions of mundane events such as meals and equipment checks, sound effects abound, we learn things about our “hero” by watching him overhear what other people whisper about him, the women are all described by how they look, etc, etc.

The plot of The Ecolitan Operation is entertaining, though, especially the parts where JimJoy cleverly outthinks his enemies as he completes missions or avoids traps and assassination. As I mentioned, so many of his choices seem unethical, though JimJoy’s Machiavellian explanations might make this debatable. He’s certainly a “grey” character.

I don’t really like JimJoy, but I think he’s interesting and I’d like to see where this story is going. His story continues in The Ecologic Secession. I’m listening to Tantor Audio’s editions of THE ECOLITAN MATTER. Kirby Heyborne does a nice job with the narration. The audiobook is 11.5 hours long.

Published in 1989. Major Jimjoy Earle Wright, secret agent of the Empire, is intelligent and highly trained. But he succeeds all too well in overthrowing a military dictatorship — and the result is a new government inimical to the Empire and disgrace for Jimjoy. After surviving two assassination attempts, Jimjoy realizes that it’s his own imperial superiors who want him dead; that, in fact, his worst enemies could become his best friends. He fights his way to safety on the planet Accord, where the Ecolitan Institute wins his loyalty and changes his identity. Now he is James Joyson Whaler, Ecolitan, in the middle of a war of independence against the inconceivably superior forces of the Empire.

L.E. Modesitt Jr. Ecolitan 1. The Ecologic Envoy 2. The Ecolitan Operation 3. The Ecologic Secession 4. The Ecolitan Enigma L.E. Modesitt Jr. Ecolitan 1. The Ecologic Envoy 2. The Ecolitan Operation 3. The Ecologic Secession 4. The Ecolitan Enigma L.E. Modesitt Jr. Ecolitan 1. The Ecologic Envoy 2. The Ecolitan Operation 3. The Ecologic Secession 4. The Ecolitan Enigma L.E. Modesitt Jr. Ecolitan 1. The Ecologic Envoy 2. The Ecolitan Operation 3. The Ecologic Secession 4. The Ecolitan Enigma


FOLLOW:  Facebooktwitterrsstumblr  SHARE:  Facebooktwitterredditpinteresttumblrmail
If you plan to buy this book, you can support FanLit by clicking on the book cover above and buying it (and anything else) at Amazon. It costs you nothing extra, but Amazon pays us a small referral fee. Click any book cover or this link. We use this income to keep the site running. It pays for website hosting, postage for giveaways, and bookmarks and t-shirts. Thank you!

KAT HOOPER, who started this site in June 2007, earned a Ph.D. in neuroscience and psychology at Indiana University (Bloomington) and now teaches and conducts brain research at the University of North Florida. When she reads fiction, she wants to encounter new ideas and lots of imagination. She wants to view the world in a different way. She wants to have her mind blown. She loves beautiful language and has no patience for dull prose, vapid romance, or cheesy dialogue. She prefers complex characterization, intriguing plots, and plenty of action. Favorite authors are Jack Vance, Robin Hobb, Kage Baker, William Gibson, Gene Wolfe, Richard Matheson, and C.S. Lewis.

View all posts by

Review this book and/or Leave a comment:

Your email address will not be published.