fast-paced read from a great new author
Elaine Isaak @ 2008-04-01
I had the chance to read this book pre-release & what a ride! It begins with two friends from opposite sides of the economic divide in a down-trodden, future America. I enjoyed Walton's technological innovations, especially his vision of high fashion cosmetic alterations.
Whenever the work seemed to take a predictable turn, instead it revealed a new layer of character and goal, increasing tension between the unusual cast. A lapsed Amish girl, expert hacker, and not-so-mindless thug provide opportunities to explore human interaction with this future world.
I did find the antagonist a bit too straightforward, but even his motivation, when it becomes clear, gives the story another twist. The book builds on some familiar ideas from science fiction--a devastated land fragmented by war, the anger of a lower class left behind, nasty uses of medical tech, the melding of man and computer--but includes a rich and complex emotional life for the characters, something that many classic SF works neglect.
Overall, an enjoyable read--by turns exciting, moving and thought-provoking.
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