A brilliant scientist on the planet Devanta has created a small universe contiguous to ours—and a utopian city on one of the planets. The question becomes, though, an utopia for whom? And why is a shady entertainment mogul subsidizing the scientist? More critical than that, does this new universe require the destruction of a portion—or all—of our universe in order to grow and stabilize?
Blaine Donne is a retired military special operative now devoted to problem-solving for hire. He investigates a series of seemingly unrelated mysteries that arise with the arrival of a woman with unlimited resources who has neither a present nor a past.
The more he investigates, the more questions arise, including the role of the two heiresses who are more—and less—than they seem, and the more Donne is pushed inexorably toward an explosive solution and a regional interstellar war.
"A brilliant scientist on the planet Devanta has created a small universe with a utopian city, Elysium, on one of its planets. Why? For whom? And why is an exceedingly dubious entertainment mogul subsidizing him? Special-ops-soldier turned analyst-detective Blaine Donne is hustling along, trying to keep commissions ahead of expenses. A series of apparently unrelated queries he is hired to handle all points to Elysium and the entertainment consortium Eloi Enterprises. Then there's an attack on his life. With a well-realized world, an original plot twist, and a cliff-hanger ending—space opera by a first-class librettist."—Frieda Murray, Booklist
"Modesitt's action-packed space opera–cum–hard-boiled detective story stars Blaine Donne, retired special operative who solves problems for the wealthy by day and fights crime by night on the planet Devanta. While tracking down missing heiresses, checking on a pal's patent infringement case and doing a background check on a client's granddaughter's unsuitable fiancé, he discovers connections among several commissions. Blaine's pal ends up dead, and Blaine realizes that he's also been hired to look into the project that's illegally using his friend's technology for momentous purposes. Even as several attempts on his life leave him more curious than ever, the political situation on the planet Devanta destabilizes, and he makes full use of his special ops skills in a final caper to save the planet. Modesitt cleverly weaves together disparate threads of information to form a complete tapestry."—Publishers Weekly
"Modesitt delivers a more action oriented and less philosophically based novel than some of his other works. Readers can enjoy The Elysium Commission on many levels." –SFRevu.com
"Modesitt’s fascinating and highly readable science fiction novel has more than a dash of detective-story whimsy. Blaine Donne is a wonderful narrator." –Romantic Times BOOKreviews
L.E. Modesitt, Jr. lives in Cedar City, Utah.