I did enjoy this book quite a bit, so maybe I'm being harsh with a 3/5? the parts I liked: the 3000 year old guy mixed with AIs without a thought to j...moreI did enjoy this book quite a bit, so maybe I'm being harsh with a 3/5? the parts I liked: the 3000 year old guy mixed with AIs without a thought to justifying the juxtaposition or even really dealing with a creation mythos. inexplicably, this is one of the things that I thought worked very well. also, the backstory of said 3000 year old guy was also very well done, timely and dramatic.
but alas, all good things must end, so on to the bad things. the back story on the android Baxter was patchy and unmoving, and it's crescendo didn't really move me. perhaps more words spent on building this would have changed that? also, the actual climax for the Robs regretful moment with Demostrate seemed either clipped or somehow insignificant. there was good foreshadowing, but the actual reveal was footnote-ish in my opinion. and my final complaint is some of the plot movements related to what the good guys could anticipate vs not anticipate (like the level of surveillance they were subject to) seemed disingenuous. for example, after they first figure out how much the other side is watching them in Mars, they still assume they can launch shuttles from titan unnoticed.
but, overrall, I did enjoy it, and would recommend to you AI lovers out there.(less)
this was well written in my opinion, despite some complaints about a slow start - I had no trouble getting through the first half. perhaps that was du...morethis was well written in my opinion, despite some complaints about a slow start - I had no trouble getting through the first half. perhaps that was due to my wife suggesting the book was worth it, and this being the first book we've read together in a while. but I digress.
this was quite the page turner after I got into it. the twists were interesting and generally well done. one of the main voices frequently committing sins of omission and the diary's provenance being questioned later were contrivances that I am willing to overlook. perhaps if Nick had been more forthcoming with the reader (i mean, come on, it was just a writer's tool to build drama), I would have given this a 4?
my main complaint with the novel is the ending. the author goes for the ironic ending, but leaves things balanced on a knife edge - a particularly sharp knife edge given that one of the protagonists just stabbed someone to death not 30 pages previously. the idea that there is some stasis or even just a conclusion is ridiculous. I felt that it was more of a its-too-hard-to-come-up-with-something-realistic-given-the-corner-I've-written-the-story-into combined with these-two-characters-are-too-flawed-for-either-to-win cop out.
also, I'm biased that this puts marriage in a shitty hopeless light. but I do have some ideas of what not to do in my own marriage!(less)
**spoiler alert** This was the worst So the circle takes over. They eliminate all human privacy. There are some tangential things that hint this is ba...more**spoiler alert** This was the worst So the circle takes over. They eliminate all human privacy. There are some tangential things that hint this is bad, but not a ton. When the story ends with privacy eliminated, and the circle unthwarted, who cares? Everything has led up to this point of complete insignificance! lots of one sided monologues espousing eliminating all privacy. No other viewpoint in the book with any significance shallow metaphor of shark eating everything = the circle taking over. like the rat crawling on the railing at the end of the departed. can't suspend my disbelief. everything is beyond satire (9 screens on your desk? Puhhleeeease.) In the space of a few months the storage tech goes from buses to not being mentioned?(less)
well, this is the first book in a long long time that I could easily put down every night. I mean, I literally fell asleep reading this more times tha...morewell, this is the first book in a long long time that I could easily put down every night. I mean, I literally fell asleep reading this more times than I could count.
I think it is interesting that everyone is rediscovering this early cyberpunk work. It really does have a timeless appeal with the ideas and concepts, although a couple of the recent updates/edits ring hollow in odd ways (the mentioning of Blackwater in one discussion of security contractors, for example). all the characters and elements of an excellent cyberpunk thriller are there, but they just aren't put together right. The pace is a staccato of forward movement interspersed with religious world building, diatribes, and inner conflicts. With fewer characters, perhaps the internal discussions would have been more compelling. of maybe just slightly less "fascism is terrible because..." sections.
I am undecided about the next two books in the series.(less)