After a break in reading, I just could not find it in me to pick up the book and finish it. The concept is interesting, but I could not identify withAfter a break in reading, I just could not find it in me to pick up the book and finish it. The concept is interesting, but I could not identify with any of the characters and the pacing was way too slow for what was actually going on in the story....more
I am a big fan of the House of Mouse, so the title really intrigued me; what's not to like about the Magic Kingdom? In truth , the story centered arouI am a big fan of the House of Mouse, so the title really intrigued me; what's not to like about the Magic Kingdom? In truth , the story centered around 2 attractions (Hall of Presidents and the Haunted Mansion) with a brief mention of a 3rd (Pirates of the Caribbean ... My favorite) as the back drop to a story of power and greed that should have no place in a [post scarcity] society where all of our needs are taken care of and old fashioned money doesn't define power anymore. True wealth (power) is now defined by reputation ... Where public respect for what you are doing gives you "Whuffie" (street creed or political capital) that helps you accomplish things in the future. This is a lot like how bloggers work; readers vote on how much they liked or respected a particular article, which then helps increase its visibility and subsequently a bloggers audience giving the blogger greater power to influence society; not surprisingly, Cory Doctorow got his start as a blogger. Doctorow was not the first person to talk about a reputation economy, but his was the first pure portrayal of such that got me thinking about how it would truly work ... Or not. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
The second major theme of the story was more post [or trans] humanism. The new 'Bitchin Society (aka BS) is based upon the surreal assumption that we can effectively eliminate the supply constraint (curve) on our economy and thereby get whatever we need in any quality needed ... Including artificial extensions on life itself. Doctorow does this with a combination of information technology (or personal backups) and cloning technology (to provide a custom platform into which your backup can be restored). This concept is taken to an extreme where clones are destroyed and backups restored to a new clone simply as a common way to avoid the inconvenience of a boredom while traveling long distances or the effects of the common cold. Now comes the question ... What exactly is a human? Can our essential self be so defined that a backup is even possible? What happens if the previous clone is not destroyed and you now have two persons with the same starting consciousness that now have two different experiences? Are they now two different people? Doctorow doesn't really answer these questions well, but you can see his characters struggling with the answers enough to start thinking on your own....more
I really wanted to like this book; I requested an ebook copy from the author for review. It just didn't quite live up to my expectations.
It was a boldI really wanted to like this book; I requested an ebook copy from the author for review. It just didn't quite live up to my expectations.
It was a bold attempt to visualize what the Reign of Christ described in Revelation 20:1-10 might actually look like. Admittedly I have not studied pre-millennialism doctrine much, as this was rejected by the Catholic Church in 373 AD; however, recalling the Left Behind series, I was very interested in how this eschatological time would be portrayed. Given the wide variance in the interpretation of the governing scriptures, the author sets himself up an extremely difficult task. The basic story elements comply with the specific milestones that I am aware of:
1. Satan is bound/imprisoned for the duration, 2. Christ will rule the earth with his Saints. 3. Satan will be released/escape for a final conflict at the end.
The story arc only covers that last few years of the Kingdom trying to illustrate how we build up to the final battle ... Which is the biggest strike against the book. It is ALL build-up with no climax; not even a cliff-hanger ending. Nothing at all to pull me into the sequel The Sovereign's Last Battle, which hopefully has a lot more action. Of the three plotlines, the only one that was truly interesting was the space exploration branch where Mr. Ruppert introduced some very original ideas about divinity. Unfortunately he also does some rather basic info-dumps that were irritating ... Probably because I was already very familiar with the topics presented; I tended to disagree with some of the material presented as well. The other two plotlines left me feeling like I had just finished reading an infomercial for evangelicals. The character development was somewhat stilted and shallow; used primarily as a means to introduce some of the more objectionable components of what amounts to a totalitarian government under Christ's control. Perhaps this was by design so that the reader would potentially identify more with rebels ... if so, he succeeded....more
This is a book I should never have started; since I didn't really like the first one of the series either (except that the last part of the first bookThis is a book I should never have started; since I didn't really like the first one of the series either (except that the last part of the first book was actually okay and it had a cliff-hanger ending). The story itself would be two stars; however, the authors schtick of throwing together a basket of random letters into barely pronouncable combination just to give it an alien feel grew old fast ... and it never let up for the entire book. Simply put, there were so many made up words that the story was difficult to visualize and I ended up doing more skimming then I like just to get past each new word (to make matters worse, most of the words could have been 'translated' just fine ... and there was no reason not too).
Finally ... I thought the ending here was just too fantastic with the author pulling way to many tricks out to actually wrap things up (which he actually did for the most part)....more