Century Rain by Alastair Reynolds
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This might become one of my favorite Alastair Reynolds novels. Why? Because he manages to turn one hell of a tale out of a kitchen sink worth of ideas. Great characters, from an ex-jazz musician/gumshoe from an alternate-timeline 1959, to a complex archeologist 300 years in the future sifting through the remains of a nanotech-eaten Earth, to wormholes, body-snatching, one hellofacool mystery, with murder, Casablanca vibes, and a nail-biting space battle that reminded me of Iain M. Banks and Neal Asher in a huge way. Or, if I'm being literal to a fault, it reminded me of Alastair Reynolds at his best. :)
There's so much I could say about this book, but let me boil it down to the basics.
This particular Earth is caught in amber. Caught in a pre-nuclear, pre-computer state. And it is being kept that way. Was kept that way for 300 years until the future factions (heavy nanotech or purist humans) unlocked frozen Earth. Roll with this, Reynolds explains it all a lot better than me. :)
Enter in the conflicting factions to this lesser-tech Earth and follow the Noir gumshoe across Paris, murders, awesome alternate Earth worldbuilding, and fantastic characterizations.
Any one of these elements are noteworthy and a cool read, but Reynolds went all-out ambitious and tied EVERYTHING together in a huge way and I loved it. :) Really perfect for mystery lovers AND hardcore missile/laser beam fanatics. Oh, and horror fans, too. Creepy undead children. :) And didn't I mention body-hopping?
lol, I had too much fun with this.
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