Pam's Reviews > Blood Music

Blood Music by Greg Bear
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Nov 28, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: sci-fi
Read from March 21 to 28, 2012

** spoiler alert ** Contains spoilers.

I like Greg Bear. He has an engaging narrative style, clean and straightforward, and his imagery is usually pretty evocative. This novel starts with an interesting premise: this scientist, Ulam, is privately experimenting with some cells. His boss finds out and fires him. Rather than lose all of his precious research, Ulam injects himself with some of the cells he was working with. Most of the novel deals with the mounting effects of Ulam's decision.

I liked the middle of the book best. Bear developed tensions best between when Ulam started to change and when Suzy discovers her family in the kitchen. After that point, I started to get mildly frustrated, though, because Bear wrote in a sub-plot about twin brothers, Jim and Jerry, but nothing ever comes of that sub-plot, and it's never really wrapped up. It's like Bear forgot about those characters, despite having them team up with Ulam's mother, April. Sure, April walks into the noocyte fog, and she's presumably taken over by the noocytes, but then why was she so intent on getting to La Jolla? Why not just give herself over to the noocytes anywhere? I wasn't really sure why he was splitting the reader's attention between Suzy's situation and the things going on with Jim, Jerry, and April. I don't really think it added anything to the story, and while there's a good reason that Jerry wasn't converted (chemicals in his system), the reason Jim wasn't infected isn't made clear (unless I missed something, which is possible).

While the end of the novel was very visually intriguing, I'm not sure I liked how it all happened. It seemed too fanciful compared to the tone set in the first 3/4 of the novel.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys sci-fi and anyone who likes reading about epidemics.
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03/22/2012 page 86
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