Review – Mendoza in Hollywood by Kage Baker

Mendoza in Hollywood is the third book in the Company series by Kage Baker.  Please follow the links for reviews of the previous two books, In the Garden of Iden and Sky Coyote.

The Company novels are a series of books that chronicle the lives of immortal humans, who are more or less cyborgs, as they go throughout history.  The Company, known as Dr. Zeus, discovers time travel and also discovers that while you can’t change the past, you can do a little tinkering.  The company takes orphans that fit specific requirements and make them their employees and also immortal.  From the moment they are “born” they are given a specific job to do, like Mendoza who is a botanist.  She gathers all the plants that will eventually go extinct so they can be preserved and reintroduced to the wild in the future.  It’s an ingenious idea and one I’ve loved from the beginning.

Mendoza in Hollywood is my least favorite in the series so far, but with the interesting twist at the end, I’m really excited to see where this story goes.  So far, the books have been narrated by Mendoza and Joseph and I liked Joseph as a narrator much more.  Fortunately, the next book follows Joseph and the mysterious Lewis.

I don’t want to give away too much of the plot, because it concerns major spoilers for book 1, but from the beginning of the novel we know that Mendoza is undergoing investigation for something that happened while she was in the field in Hollywood in the 19th century, long before the movie stars took over.  Baker always artfully combines real history with her own creations and it’s seamless.  The same is true of Mendoza in Hollywood, Baker uses recorded history but fills in the blank with the exploits of her characters and it’s perfect.

Like all the Company novels, I’ve found, there are some slow moments in the book.  It’s not all action and even though this isn’t always a bad thing, I didn’t think it did Mendoza in Hollywood much favors.  I’m really looking forward to the next installment and if Mendoza in Hollywood is the most disappointing book of the entire series, then there won’t be very much to complain about at all.

Part of me wants to inhale all of these books, but I know I should savor them.  This is such a nice series to have to go back to when I don’t know what to read, because I know it’s always going to be something I enjoy.  I can’t stress enough that if you love historical fiction and if you love science fiction this is a series you need to be reading.  If you only love science fiction then maybe the Company novels will change your mind and vice versa.  So please, get to reading!  These books are awesome.

So go read  this!: now | tomorrow | next week | next month | next year | when you’ve exhausted your TBR

Also reviewed by: Jenny’s Books.  Other than that?  NO ONE. Clearly you must all begin reading.  Now.

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One thought on “Review – Mendoza in Hollywood by Kage Baker

  1. Oh, the next one’s better. Mendoza in Hollywood may be my least favorite of all the books in the series, although I did have advance warning that one of them (the sixth, I want to say?) is more like a collection of short stories than a proper Company novel. I liked it, but if I’d been expecting plot advancement, I’d have been disappointed.

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