Merinde's Reviews > 2312

2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson
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's review
Jul 30, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: science-fiction
Read in July, 2012

I really liked this, despite the fact that I found some parts hard to get through. Mainly because I didn't really find the plot that interesting. It could have been, but it just wasn't. The world-building was great though, even somewhere near a believable future. What I enjoyed most about this book were the descriptions. Those were really enjoyable, very imaginative and vivid.

The characters were interesting enough I suppose, but somehow did not really capture my interest, did not seem very alive somehow. I suppose Robinson is much better at writing landscapes and future worlds than people. Which isn't really that much of a problem, to me, as I really enjoyed the worldbuilding so much I would have been okay with a book consisting solely of descriptions of the settlements of Jupiter's moons and human culture throughout the solar system in the 23th century. I would really have liked to hear more about those alien bacteria aside from the fact that the main character ingested them(!) during some sort of religious ritual. And the qube-androids - those were, to me, the most fascinating characters in the book. The sole chapter in which we get a peek at their thought process was really interesting and I would like to see more of that. It seemed a little tragic and very confusing. Do you want to play chess? Yes, I found that moment much more touching than most of the trouble the main characters went through.

What did really irritate me was how little new there really was when it came to art - everyone is constantly attending classical music concerts and whistling Beethoven...quoting 19th, 20th and 21th century a way that did really help to make this somewhat foreign, future world still feel human, but there was hardly any mention of contemporary composers or the literature of their own century. I found that a little disappointing. I suppose it is very hard to just invent supposedly very famous future literature and make it actually believable and not obviously a construct and cheap. But still. Also, all the supposedly very modern future artsy things Swan did just screamed Abramović. And sure enough, there she is in "acknowledgements". I like her art really, but could it have been a little less obvious? At this rate Swan could just as well have been called Swan er Abramović instead of Hong. Really.

Anyway...I haven't read the Mars series yet, but I hope to see more of the worldbuilding featured in this book there. Hopefully, the plot will be a little more interesting. But I wouldn't mind that much if it wasn't.
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message 1: by Tom (new) - rated it 3 stars

Tom Nice review. I'm just about to start this book and you did a pretty cool job of letting me know what I'm in for. And you kept it spoiler free!

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