Flies from the Amber (1995)

Finding a completely new sort of material in the system of Malhelia, the colonists inform Earth of their discovery. But when an Earth ship reaches the Malhelian system centuries later, it finds something even more interesting, alien ships that hover near the event horizon of the black hole near the Malhelian system.

I liked the idea more than I liked it’s execution. Not to say that it’s a bad book, it isn’t, but I think McCarthy could have done more with it. The real action, when the aliens begin to leave the slowtime deeps of the black hole, starts only in the last third of the book, the first and second third is used to introduce the reader to the cast, the crew of the Introspectia and the Unuan colonists. Which is all nice, but none of the characters are particularly interesting, apart from moving the plot forward. The aliens itself are even less interesting, we don’t learn enough about them, and while the epiphany one character has about their nature near the end of the book proves interesting, it’s not enough. All that said, it’s still an interesting read, just not as good as it might have been.