Mirrored Heavens (Autumn Rain #1)
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Mirrored Heavens (Autumn Rain #1)

3.15 of 5 stars 3.15  ·  rating details  ·  344 ratings  ·  63 reviews

In the 22nd century, the first wonder of a brave new world is the Phoenix Space Elevator, designed to give mankind greater access to the frontier beyond Earth. Cooperatively built by the United States and the Eurasian Coalition, the Elevator is also a grand symbol of superpower alliance following a second cold war. And it�s just been destroyed.

With suspicions rampant, a...more
Mass Market Paperback, 432 pages
Published January 27th 2009 by Spectra (first published 2008)
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Dirk Grobbelaar

I’m going to give you one last piece of advice. Get it together, or get taken apart.

This is another of those novels that’s been receiving a measure of bad press; some reviews here on Goodreads are quite scathing, to say the least. A possible injustice that has been done the book (and the author) is the comparison to Neuromancer (Necromancer?), because, frankly, it really isn’t the same thing. I’m fairly convinced that readers have been charging into The Mirrored Heavens, only to find themselves...more
Seak (Bryce L.)
Unlike any book I've ever read, The Mirrored Heavens blasts out the gates and never lets up. I have to admit that I'm not the most well-read when it comes to science fiction (I'm working on it), but I was really surprised at how much I enjoyed this story about a very real future world where terrorists are attempting to take over.

It's not too often that you read a book that's completely told in the present tense. This annoyed me at first, but the more I got used to it the more I realized how much...more
The Mirrored Heavens is the worst novel I have read to-date.

There is nothing good about it. It even smells bad.

It's been a while since I cracked it last, so these comments are weakened by time. I felt even angrier while I was reading it.

The dialogue is gross and awful. The dialogue is the Microsoft Songsmith of prose, except without the tacky, ironic appeal.

There are plenty of characters and no character development. None. They are there. They do things. They are all shallow badasses. We learn t...more
This is a quick read that really, really wants to be a movie. There's a lot of action, not that much character depth.

The story itself is somewhat standard.. nefarious organization wants to nuke everything, start over. There are three points of view within the story that give us different perspectives. That's part of the problem - Williams introduced things like Marlowe and Haskell used to be lovers.. or did they since their memories are implanted. But there's so much else going on that this isn...more
Not for me. I just didn't like it and ran out the clock just to say I finished it. It's part of a trilogy that I won't be participating in.

First - I find it very interior and have trouble "seeing" what's going on.

Second - where's the magical fuel for these suits come from?

Third - I don't usually like present tense (see Water for Elephants.... ack!)

Fourth - there are major problems with the prose rhythm and the sentence length is irregular and thudding. Read it to understand what I mean, but if y...more
Scott D.
I was enthralled by the scenario of this book, which was extremely detailed and well thought out. The book is set in 2110, during a second Cold War, and it starts with a bang - a huge terrorist attack that turns the tension into action. The book is extremely fast paced and deals with agents doing their things in the Earth-Moon system.

On the negative side, there's not a lot of character development. The characters are all acting and reacting and talking tough.

Still, I will definitely be finishin...more
Tammi L.
A chance purchase from a yard sale table turned out to be the novel I could hardly put down. This book is scifi action of the most violent kind, with a body count to make even Terminator film fans like me wince. It's three stories of bada-- agents running in parallel, all in involved in a political battle for rule of Earth and near-Earth's dystopian cities, each team led by duos who are being far more manipulated than they could let their arrogance believe. Power plays, deadly races against the...more
Reads like a script for an action film. Dialog is terse and intensely ironic. Williams clearly details the choreography of fight scenes. Very little character development, so far.

"A crackling cyberthriller. This is Tom Clancy interfacing Bruce Sterling. David Williams has hacked into the future."—Stephen Baxter, author of the Manifold series

"The Mirrored Heavens presents an action-jammed and audacious look at a terrifyingly plausible future. By comparison to Williams' future, the present mess surrounding the Iraq conflict seems almost benign. Highly recommended for politicians, not that most would wish to see where their actions could easily lead."—L. E. Modesit

David J. Williams has written a hyper-kinetic bang-up of a novel with blistering action sequences that hits like a flechette.

Set in the early part of a dystopian 22nd century the geopolitical canvas is sketched out in quick brushstrokes in the preface of the book, and in more detail on the author's website before quickly jumping to the action of zone tripping "razors" and hi-ex tossing combat "mechs". The U.S. is pretty much a military dictatorship at this point; officially, President Harrison g...more
Maybe I'm just in a rut right now, but I cannot seem to find a book that satisfies at the moment. My latest "failure" at the moment is David Willimas "The Mirrored Heavens". Billed as an updated Neuromancer and an action-packed thriller, I was looking forward to give it a go.

Unfortunately, I'm 150 pages in and finding myself looking longingly at my "to read" pile--wondering if I should give something else a try. It's not that the writing is piss-poor. If that was the case, I would've tossed the...more
In a world where memories are as likely to be manufactured as real, where “razers” link their heads wirelessly into whatever part of the internet they can find, where electronic counter-measures are hacked by electronically enhanced people, it’s not surprising that life get a little confusing.

Mirrored Heavens is a somewhat confusing book, but intriguing and engrossing. The author uses short clipped sentences to set his scenes, then peoples them with a cast of characters who may or may not be who...more

The Mirrored Heavens by David J Williams

Published by Bantam Spectra, May 2008

ISBN: 9780553385410


414 pages

In recent years it’s been good to see publishers push out new talent in the SF field. This book continues that trend by being a hyperactive debut novel. If your tastes in SF run to a nicely extrapolated projected future and lots of espionage activity, saving the world and beyond, this debut might be the book for you.

Much of its initial premise seems to be set up in th...more
Aug 06, 2008 Raja rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: cyberpunk fans
Shelves: sci-fi
It's great, modern cyberpunk and the near-future it posits is all too plausible. I found myself wishing it was harder SF; it glosses over pretty much all of the mechanics of future networking and hacking to an even greater extent than Gibson or Stephenson.

I was frustrated by the ending. It's good in that it isn't predictable, but bad in that there are zero clues, or at least zero that I caught, that could even give you an inkling of how it might end. So while the ending ties everything together...more
The Mirrored Heavens is a fast paced sci-fi action book. Anyone who has ever played the table top role playing game Cyberpunk will instantly recognize the futuristic world that Mr. Williams places his story. Unfortunately, he falls into the trap of many players/game masters of this genre. There is an amazing amount of detail put into the fight scenes and a pitiable amount of attention put toward character development.

As the story bounces between the groups of characters, it is often difficult t...more
Robert Keogh
Took a break from hard sci-fi Dragon's Egg to read an adrenaline, rip n run book. True to the jacket blurb the book is sprinting from page one but for the first half I really didn't care for the four narrative style. Then the global context became clearer (I recommend reading the history appendix first) and I got more into it and became pretty interested in the resolution which came a little fast and disjointed but still interesting enough to give the sequel a lash.

I've got some gripes about whi...more
Wayne Kearney
This is probably the fastest paced book I ever read. However, that is not a compliment. The action moves so fast that you don't actually get to experience any of it. Everything flashes past before it can even leave an impression. There is no character development, no plot puzzles to speak of and by then it leaves you empty and drained. There is so much violence and mayhem, that it over shadows the characters and becomes redundant and boring by the end. Also, the ending was a complete farce and m...more
I waffled with this one. It really was good enough for 4 or 5 stars.... but...

I struggled with this book. It was fascinating and fast paced, but confusing as it jumped quickly from the perspective of 3 different characters/team perspectives. As the book came to its climax the transitions happened fast and furious. There was a lovely level of suspense and urgency and the concepts Mr. Williams imagines are frightening to say the least. I really liked it... however... it was not an easy read. I am...more
...The Mirrored Heavens is something of a mix of techno-thriller and cyberpunk. For fans of either sub-genre there is quite a lot to like about this book. It definitely has some of the best realized future battle scenes I've come across. For someone with my obsession for environmental matters, political considerations and societal change this novel is not a really satisfying read. A lot is hinted at but even more has to make way, to keep the pace of the story as high as it is. The Mirrored Heave...more
Nice 1st novel. Plenty of action verging on the frenetic. A tad confusing at times; especially at the end but an entertaining read I would recommend to all action sci-fi fans.
William Raths
More like 2.5 stars. Fairly clichéd but I don't regret reading it. Not sure if I'll pursue the trilogy.
R. E.
I don't say things like this often, but he's gotten it right. Williams is as observant as Bruce Sterling, close to as brilliant as Gibson with language and creative like Vinge or possibly Charles Stross on meth. (Though it's hard to imagine him on meth.) I really look forward to the completion of the set, though I'll be sad to see it over.

His terse sentence structure means it moves full forward at full speed. Picture Hemingway as Science Fiction. His observations of what life is becoming as we s...more
The fast-paced action seems to be a thin disguise for a badly structured plot. One of the three main plot strands seems totally irrelevant by the end. Characterization is non-existant, all characters speak in the same voice. Dialogue consists of characters threatening each other and playing tough for pages and pages in an ultimately tiresome attempt at giving the novel a hard-boiled wit. In the final 100 pages, the author starts throwing out plot twists, but with no sense of buildup or logic. A...more
I really like it! Mirrored Heavens is very fast paced, intelligent with an awesome yet believable creative vision of the 22 Century. This book keeps you on the edge of your seat until the end when your heart is racing and your tearing through the pages to try to keep up the pace and adrenaline of the story. I don't want to give anything away but... I wanted to throw the book and yell a few times at the characters the last 50 pages. I would give it either a 4.5 but that is not an option so latter...more
Mark Ames
There is much to like about this book. The action is fantastic, the earth the author envisions is harrowing, the plot twists and turns quite nicely. Yes it reads a bit like a screenplay, specifically a Ghost in the Shell screenplay. Yes it references cyperpunk, Tom Clancy and so on. I guess for me that is the problem, Williams doesn't quite get past all he references, I like all that stuff so it is not stopping me from reading it. I enjoyed the book, recommend it in fact but I hope book 2 in the...more
Jason Kelley
So far, it's very aggressive. Becoming increasingly more so.

And now, having finished it, I can say it's one of the best cyber punk/politicky type books I've ever read. There are two more in the series. Stoked.

There's a future earth. There is a truce between two great coalitions. There's a terrorist organization called Autumn Rain. Shit starts blowing up immediately and does not stop. There's a lot of intrigue and subterfuge. There's a cyber zone that is tastefully designed. It feels like a very...more
This is a 24-hour can't-put-it-down thriller. The human characters are familiar, well-established cyberpunk tropes as is the plot: if you crave uniqueness from either this may not be the book for you. The real stars are the pacing and the world; the 22nd century dystopia is a familiar flavor, Williams' interpretation brings more than the usual level of consideration to the political and economic forces at work and weaves them into the action with a set of interlocking storylines with textbook pr...more
Couldn't finish it. Worst dialog, in particular, that I've tried to read in ages. All the characters sound alike, which, given the conceit of jumping between their viewpoints every paragraph, is glaringly obvious... but worse, the actual lines are each trying to be exposition, wit, dramatic confrontation and character development at once, and failing at every task. It reads like someone's first attempt at a screenplay, and non sequiturs sprout from this mulched pulp like mushrooms after rain.
Tiffany Mcnabb
I only got about half way through this one. The author's present tense writing style and over use of contractions grated on my nerves, but I tried to overlook it since the story seemed promising. The action is fast paced, but there is so little character development. Half way through the book, one of the main characters is in mortal peril, and I realized that I really didn't care whether he lived or not. That's when I decided to give up on this one.
Chris McClinch
This is one I'd recommend only for fans of military sci-fi. It's competent within the genre, but I'd say it has no crossover appeal outside the genre whatsoever. Williams goes to too much trouble to make sure the reader doesn't see the twists coming, at the expense of good characterization or emotional investment in the game-changing moments. The big reveals felt more like "Wheel of Plot" than the sucker-punches they were clearly intended to be.
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Descended from Australian convicts, David J. Williams nonetheless managed to be born in Hertfordshire, England, and subsequently moved to Washington D.C. just in time for Nixon’s impeachment. Graduating from Yale with a degree in history some time later, he narrowly escaped the life of a graduate student and ended up doing time in Corporate America, which drove him so crazy he started moonlighting...more
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