Zeek's Reviews > Keeping It Real

Keeping It Real by Justina Robson
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Aug 04, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: scifi-rom, sci-fi, sidhe
Read in June, 2008

Sci-Fi?

High Fantasy?

Cyberpunk?

Each of these terms could be used to describe Justina Robson's novel Keeping it Real (1st in her Quantum Gravity series). But each in and of itself would be a misnomer. An intriguing mix of all three, in addition to a "destined for each other" love story and yes, sex- How could I resist?

The book begins by describing how some time in the not too distant future, a massive explosion of a superconductor causes the thinning, and in some places- outright tearing- of the veil separating our world and the realms that coexist beside us. Since the explosion, euphemistically called "The Quantum Bomb", the inhabitants of each realm are now communicating with Earth - all except the Elven realm that is.

After a deadly encounter with some nefarious otherworlders, Lila Black is supposed to be dead. Her body is stained and torn apart by the death magic used against her, but her ambiguous employers have rebuilt her. Now, dead to her family and living undercover, she's part machine/part woman and assigned to protect an Elf who has crossed into Otopia (formerly known as Earth) and is making a name for himself as a rock musician.

Upon meeting Zal, the mysterious Elf who is more than what he seems, a game is started between them. One that will lead her into the Elven world where intrigue abounds and where Zal and Lila find themselves involved in a plot that will not only endanger their worlds, but also their hearts.

This book had many things going for it and a couple things against it.

What I liked? The world Robson's attempting to create and the complete flipping on it's ear of what a romantic hero and heroine should look and act like. (Lila's body is a blend of Tony Stark's Ironman suit and Terminator 3's weapon infested Terminator Chick and Zal doesn't care one wit that she's strong enough can carry him wherever he may need to go.)

What I didn't like? The book seemed all over the place, miring the story until she (and the plot) got to where it was supposed to go.

Accordingly, it didn't really pick up till two-thirds through the book. But then again, the ending makes up for much of the meandering beforehand. (Who can resist an evil Elf Queen and ancient dragons leaving cryptic messages?)

That said, I am looking forward to reading the rest of the series!
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