By John Clute

Rating: 3 stars

Nathaniel Freer is a trader who’s been lucky enough to find a commission in a time of hardship, when a data virus, plaque, is slowly encompassing the galaxy. He barely escapes from the planet Trencher when the plaque engulfs it but it seems that his cargo is more than it appears, and Freer must run for his life towards his destination planet that seems to be at the centre of everything.

This is a hard science fiction novel with lots of interesting world-building. From the twinned AIs, pleasingly termed ‘Made Minds’, to the hints of plaque apocalypse that overtook Earth in the distant past. This apocalypse has meant that Humans have had to abandon Earth but they have been welcomed by the Galactic community because aliens can get high on Human smell. However, it’s also a very dense book. It’s full of very evocative imagery but it gets tiring having to turn to a dictionary every other paragraph. There’s a lot packed into the words which I suspect would reward rereading, but which made the first reading difficult.

A lot is just thrown at the reader with no explanation or context and while some of it eventually starts making sense, some is just left as general background noise which I found somewhat irritating, although I can see the point of it. I think that at some point I would like to reread it though and see if it’s an easier read next time round.

Book details

ISBN: 9781841491004
Publisher: Orbit
Year of publication: 2001

No Comments »

No comments yet.

Leave a comment

RSS feed for comments on this post | TrackBack URL

Powered by WordPress