Bill's Reviews > Halting State

Halting State by Charles Stross
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's review
Jan 08, 2009

liked it

I picked up this book in the middle of reading 2666, mostly to have something lighter to read on my holiday cross-country plane rides. It fulfilled those expectations very well.

Halting State is a fun near-future detective novel that focuses on a large robbery. The twist is that the robbery happens online, to a virtual bank. What starts out as a straightforward detective story has some very satisfying second act twists that bring the narrative out a bit to include a lot of interesting ideas. I found the book's treatment of the implications of ubiquitous computing (basically what happens when we all have very powerful iphone like devices with us all day long,) interesting and a fun twist to the detective novel.

The biggest issue I had against this book was the use of the second person narrative. I have no idea why Stross would have chosen that, but I found it incredibly annoying and ill fitting. Had the book been written in a slightly more conventional manner I think that I could have suggested it much more strongly.

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