Rosie's Reviews > The Second Death of Daedalus Mole

The Second Death of Daedalus Mole by Niall Slater
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it was amazing
bookshelves: 2018

Cinematic, quirky, moving and satirical, The Second Death Of Daedalus Mole sits squarely with a new generation of intelligent science fiction joining the classics on our shelves in the twenty first century. (Think Ann Leckie, Becky Chambers, NK Jemisin...) The first thing that struck me was how well the universe Daedalus inhabits is introduced to the reader, partly through his interactions with the naive Erin, and partly through the subtle exposition woven into the narration. At no point does this world-building feel either patronising, shoe-horned, or confusing - it’s very natural, and allows the reader to find a home among the crew of the Crow.

Slater clearly trusts his readers to find moments of relation and similarity with the characters as they traverse a world of complex politics, history and theology with nuance and intrigue. Nothing is black and white, nothing has a simple ending, and Slater uses the vast emptiness of space to demonstrate that there is no hierarchy in terms of story - something that seems incidental from one perspective is of the utmost importance when viewed from another, and no one platform necessarily takes precedence over others. Between personal politics and universal apocalypse, which feels more immediate? It’s a pressing question for us to consider in a world of 24 hour news and compassion fatigue. There is a real pleasure in seeing the threads of the story converging, but equally everything remains satisfyingly - and appropriately - unresolved. I hope this paves the way for a sequel, but I would also be perfectly happy leaving Daedalus, Erin, Ram and Hilton just as they are.

If I have one issue with the book, it’s that some of the fight and chase sequences left me a little disoriented and confused; however, I think this is more a reflection on me as a reader, as I don’t often read books with action scenes and I haven’t trained myself to follow them. First novels are never perfect, but this one shows a maturity of plotting, a clarity of prose and an expansiveness of vision that made it truly a joy to read.
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Reading Progress

August 29, 2018 – Shelved
August 29, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
September 15, 2018 – Started Reading
September 17, 2018 – Finished Reading
November 13, 2018 – Shelved as: 2018

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