A brief review of the final novel in the Passing of the Techno-Mages trilogy, Invoking Darkness, by Jeanne Cavelos. Spoiler warnings apply.
Hey Joe, if you’re reading this, you have the material for an incredible miniseries here – special effects budget not withstanding. This is just one of those things that you can picture so vividly in your mind, you’d swear you’d seein it on TV already.
Invoking Darkness picks up immediately after the events of Summoning Light, after the Techno-Mages have sequestered themselves away from the galaxy in a well-protected hiding place. Only three of the Circle remain, and they are weakening, as infighting between the mages increase, spurred through the nature of their tech. Galen, probably the most powerful of them all, but also the most dangerous, is eager to find a way out of the prison-like setting, eager to exact revenge on Elizar and Razeel, and eager to rid the universe of himself. The Circle does allow him to leave finally, when it is learned that Elizar may have the deadly Spell of Destruction.
In the process of carrying out his very specific mission (kill Elizar, Razeel, and Morden only), Galen learns even more about the power of the tech, the power of the Shadows, the true fate of Wierden, and even himself, finally understanding his origins and the death of his parents. He’s even picked up a few more of the powerful single-equation spells to help him.
Galen’s struggle with himself is central to story. This theme at times can almost be monotonous, but looking back it made me realize the level of hatred Galen had with himself for becoming what he was – a force for chaos.
Along the way we also learn more of how the Shadow ships function, the original fate of Anna Sheridan, and even some of the thought processes of Morden.
Jeanne has proven again that has the skill and knowledge to produce a first rate story within the Babylon 5 universe. I now count her as having written 4 of the top 5 tie-in novels, the exception being To Dream in the City of Sorrows. And good news – both Sorrows and Jeanne’s first, stand-alone tie-in, The Shadow Within are to be among the first of the nine original novels republished by Del Ray towards the end of next year.