As for the book, I was glad Noelle and Miles were talking again. The Martian human medical examiner claimed that the Earth woman went to and worked at a diverse university on Earth and should have known things, and everyone knew Mars was Disty now, if she didn't know it was her fault. It felt like crap writing because I can't see humans who all resent the aliens' laws putting them in these horrible positions being so cavalier about this. They're all terrified for their own lives, refused throughout the book to allow anyone else to come in and help them with the new site that developed even though they badly needed the help, so why would they be so casual with the Earth specialist's life? On the other hand, one of the things I like about this series is that the tech and the locations feel real. The author has a number of variables in the communications links each person uses or the media recording technology, all sophisticated versions of what we would expect to see, and they work and make sense for the story and feel real, and support the tale. Other than that one tri-part ambassador in the last book, the aliens have been pretty awful. I do think it's funny that Noelle continues to feel like the hero of the books to me even though Miles is the titular hero. Noelle is the one who's changing in every book and taking action and doing a lot of things.
Toward the end, the story of the journalist really bothered me, both as a former journalist and as a reader.
Liked: * Clash of cultures - this is more of what I had in mind when I read the premise for the series. I liked the peripheral characters, but at one point it seemed that every chapter was being narrated by a new voice.
It may have set p certain events in the story but the author surely could have done that differently. Not a lot of action but plenty of mysteries to unravel and crises to manage.
Forensic Anthropologist Aisha Costard finds out the bones belonged to a woman who had disappeared because she was charged with crimes against another alien culture. Also, the dead woman had children disappeared with her and are believed to be alive. What makes Buried Deep as well the other books Ive read in the Retrieval Artist Series is the characters of Retrieval Artist Miles Flint and Moon Security Chief Noelle DeRicci. I highly recommend Buried Deep like I have with the first three books in this series.
The story takes place at a time when humans have colonized the solar system and have made contact with intelligent alien species. The only way to satisfy the Disty is to find family members of the human victim and convince them to take part in an alien ritual.
The cases continue for Miles Flint and Noelle DiRicci and in a circuitous way that remains interesting. This time the mystery surrounds a human gravesite (which goes from the discovery of one skeleton to mass grave from a massacre years ago) on Mars that sets off an epic freak out of the Disty that renders them incapable of rational thought to the point that they act in ways that ensure their deaths & others. I felt like I lacked enough information about them and understood how daunting this was for the human characters. I liked that I learned what I did learn about the Disty as the characters did. It wasn't even that they were too deferential to the Disty (I didn't have enough information to make that assessment) it's that they were completely ineffectual in every situation they were presented with.
I wish there was a little more involving Scott-Olson and less of De Ricci and Bowles. But I could have done with more background of the relations between species, I was a little confused at times how people should be acting toward one another. It was a little jarring seeing an alien species claiming Mars as their own, when it's in our solar system and we settled on it first. The Disty death avoidance actually seemed a little like the Navajo death avoidance turned up to eleventy.
The aliens are truly strange with very weird customs, and it is these customs that form the focal point of the story.
Kristine Kathryn Rusch is an award-winning mystery, romance, science fiction, and fantasy writer.