The Triumph of Time by James Blish
Might contain spoilers.
A decent entry in the series. It’s short, but taken in context, the brevity is not an issue. A pity it goes from Chris deFord being killed in the last one to Hazelton practically becoming the villain in this one. I feel Amalfi’s sense of stagnation, but in the form of frustration at the fact that he spends the entire book not being able to do what he’s good at.
It displays some unpleasant and (naturally) antiquated ideas about women. Dee’s sex is used to justify treating her as a child and a fickle fool. I’m not comfortable with the description of her coming to Amalfi as being like a daughter coming to a father. Nor am I comfortable with Web ogling Estelle: while children are entitled to their thoughts and feelings, a story can acknowledge them without forcing the reader into the role of voyeur. It would also have been stronger overall sans Estelle and Web, and with Dee as a real character rather than an empty vessel.
The Web of Hercules is ultimately only a distraction that amounts to nothing. Nevertheless, there are some lovely words and beautiful images in the final moments of the story.