Nenekiri Bookwyrm's Reviews > Qoheleth
Nenekiri Bookwyrm's review
Nov 08, 2020
I have so many thoughts about this book, but to write all of them here would spoil major parts of it so I'm gonna keep that bit out of this review. Long story short, I loved this book! Madison finds a way to address not only the joys and terrors of integrated simulation technology, but also tackles questions of gender and identity while telling a pretty gripping mystery story in the process. Discussions of gender and identity aren't new to Madison, as she writes about them often, but this time the focus seemed to be on nonbinary or even genderless presentations. This was an interesting departure and I found it worked well with the themes of the book. The book is two parts: Qoheleth and the appended Gallery Exhibition. Qoheleth is the main book while Gallery Exhibition is an added bonus that works to flesh out some of the aspects of the main cast. Qoheleth is split into two distinct narratives, one set in the book's present of 2112 and another set in the future of 2305. In both narratives the characters have to figure out their own mystery while the reader looks for the answer to the mystery of how these stories and characters are connected. The book deals with aspects of technology and the implications of a virtual world that we might one day live in. The questions of what it is to be human and how we define ourselves in the age of not having a body are addressed and talked about heavily. Not to mention the commentary on the increasing role of technology in our lives as we become further integrated with machines. In addition, if you work in a tech related field or have experience using versioning software like Git, then a lot of the little details about how the virtual world and instances work will sound familiar to you. It's not at all necessary to know about these things to understand it in the context of the story, but coming from a tech background made those bits extra fun to read. All of the characters feel distinct from one another and RJ's character arc throughout eir story is handled well. The descriptions of the furry avatars and how they interact with the virtual world was also a nice touch. I'm always a sucker for when there's attention to details like making sure you don't sit on your own tail or how it would be to navigate around the challenges of having a muzzle. I would say to give it a shot if you enjoy sci-fi and a good mystery!
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November 8, 2020 – Shelved