In the third book of the Parker Interstellar Travels series, Michael McCloskey keeps the action moving by having Magnus, Telisa, Shiny, and their newest recruit Cilreth moving on to the next world they’ve discovered with Trilisk artifacts and ruins to explore. The Trilisk Supersedure continues the trend of these books being short, compact, and well-paced so that the reader can pick them up, dive right in, and possibly even finish things all in one sitting. I continue to think that there are not enough books that fill that criteria in mainstream science fiction these days.
My biggest question about this book was how Cilreth was going to mesh with the already strong trio of Telisa, Magnus, and Shiny. It’s been established that Shiny has something of his own agenda but is willing to remain with the humans for the time being. Telisa and Magnus are involved both as business partners and emotional partners, and they have been through a lot as a team. Adding a new element, another female no less, had me wondering if some sort of love triangle was going to make an appearance. Thankfully, that didn’t happen and Cilreth had her moments to shine as she bails Telisa out of a couple tight spots and shows her usefulness to Shiny along the way as well.
Two very interesting things happen in this book that did not happen in the previous two books in the series. First, the group of explorers runs into another sizable human force which turns out to be a remnant group of the Unified Earth Defiance that the UN Space Force had defeated years earlier. This group of UED soldiers had been hiding out on the planet that Telisa, Magnus, and Shiny choose to explore next and they have been dealing with a very aggressive and dangerous alien life form that has slowly whittled the group down soldier by soldier over time. Telisa and Magnus know nothing about this alien when they land on the surface and that causes all sorts of problems.
The second big thing to happen in The Trilisk Supersedure is that Telisa, Magnus, and Shiny encounter a living Trilisk for the very first time. Nobody had any idea if they were still a living race, but it turns out they are still around and Telisa gets a first hand look at how the Trilisks “supercede” themselves into the bodies of other life forms in order to accomplish their goals. Telisa spends a bit of time with her consciousness transferred into one of the aliens and the Trilisks manage to escape the planet by transferring themselves into an escaping UED soldier that manages to make it off the planet when all is said and done, leaving Telisa, Magnus, and Shiny to give chase.
I liked how The Trilisk Supersedure took a few moments to dig a little deeper into the character development of Telisa, Magnus, and Cilreth. They become a little better as characters with each subsequent chapter. Shiny is his usual wonderful self whom I still wish had more actual screen time than he gets.
There are two books remaining for me to read in the Parker Interstellar Travels series and I intend to get to them sooner rather than later because I don’t want to leave the series unfinished long-term. I’d rather finish it up and see where things take me.