WARNING: this book is for adult. There are plenty of reference to sexual act and homosexuality.
First impression, by looking at the cover, the title, and the author, not impressive. I thought it is just a pulp fiction, using hackneyed “quantum” term freely like on many best sellers list, written by an Indian spiritualist author. Turn out that I am wrong. It is a very high end science-fiction, the term “quantum” is properly used, and the author is not an Indian; he is Finnish. I still reserve my opinion about the cover.
OK, now the content itself. I admit that this is a HEAVY read. Lots of term, unexplained by the author. Lots of reference to Hebrew words, Russian names, quantum physics terminology. Thank God for the Internet, that I can simply search the term on wikipedia. Usually I do not recommend readers to peek the glossary of term while reading a novel, but this time, I recommend it. Here is the link:
Believe me, it will help you a lot in understanding this novel.
The story is about a thief, Jean le Flambeur, recently busted out from a Dillema Prison (a reference in game theory, google it by yourself) by Mieli, an Oortian (a reference to Oort Cloud) warrior. They are with a mission, a very sophisticated heist, delivered for a high being, with an unknown motive. And it is going to be carried in the Moving City of Mars, which is the main setting of this novel.
The world created by this author is very rich and riveting, once you get the hang of it. For me, it is after about three chapters. It is like finding a new world for you to explore, try to figure out how it works. It is a very exhilarating experience. It has been a long time since I read a novel that made me this excited. It forced all the grey cell of my brain to full throttle, try to piece together all the information into a coherent story.
I would say that this novel is better than The Demolished Man, which has similarity, a detective story in a sci-fi world. Rajaniemi’s world is richer and more engaging, but more difficult to comprehend without the help of glossary.
The idea in this novel is also very rich that makes the Matrix movie like a child play. The whole idea of transferred consciousness, uploading mind, even copying and hijacking mind are explored. It explores the whole possibility of a post-human being, cheating death, and even a possibility of living for eternity.
The battle scene is dizzying. A lot stuff happened at the same time, a wholly different family of weapon: viral weapon, nanobots, information warfare, while fighting physically. It is going to be really difficult to visualize it, not to mention to make a movie out of it.
So, if you like a mind-blowing and mind-boggling book, this one is highly recommended. If you are not this type, better stay away from it.