The Weight of the World by Tom Toner
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I'm going to rate this a 5 for worldbuilding and attempted lit-SF treatment in the way of Gene Wolfe but a 2 for sheer enjoyment.
I wanted to enjoy it. Let me be clear on this. There are some wonderful scenes, better action scenes, and wordplay in naming that deserves a lot of props. It's sprawling, like a far-far future Jason and the Argonauts with many human-alien species and strangely-changed long-lifers who have been around for thirteen thousand years. It has a lot to admire. I even got into it pretty hard by the time we got to space and I especially loved Perception every time he was around.
It may be just me, but I tired very quickly of the never-ending weirdly-spelled names and places, the almost-recognizable but not quite aspects, and the less-than-satisfactory characterizations that could have saved a lot of this by just being VIBRANT enough to push through the naming conventions and make it STICK.
As a consequence, I OFTEN had to go to the glossary at the end and it wasn't fun. I CAN enjoy that kind of thing and have, in some particularly brilliant cases, but for this, I discovered that I barely cared about any of the characters. It got better by the end, as these things generally go, but it was something of a slog for me.
Let me repeat, however, that this IS a rather vast and interesting far-future with lots of subtle easter-eggs and a very imaginative wide setting that I probably would have enjoyed more as a vast, well-funded tv series that relies on the visual more than anything else.
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