Cage of Souls by Adrian Tchaikovsky
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I picked this up fully expecting a wonderful Tchaikovsky. I've never gone wrong with him when it comes to his SF. The fantasy, well, is kinda so-so for me, but the SF is usually bang-on.
This novel, however, started with a fun bang, slowly turned into a slightly interesting prison tale at the far end of time, and then just started reminding me of Senlin Ascends with a bit of Moorcock and even A. Reynolds thrown into the mix, and even some Dostoyevsky.
The END was pretty awesome. All the little random journeys and the almost meaningless plots and experiences of everyday living, the good and all the bad, the other bad, and the worse are entertaining enough on the whole, but I'll admit that it was kinda rough to care when I JUST DIDN'T KNOW WHERE THE HELL THIS WAS GOING.
BUT. When we got to the certain big scenes near the end and the whole reason for this long accounting came clear, let alone the huge surprises, it all comes together in the end, redeeming the book.
Redeeming? Well, there's even a point in the novel when the NARRATOR asks US what the hell the plot is, so it's not like it's a complete surprise. It IS relatively plotless. BUT, it is all pretty funny and cruel and even a bit fantastic when we see it in perspective. Grand perspective. :)
But in retrospect? If the "journey" had been cut down by a third and/or we had a slightly better clue as to what we might have expected by the end, I probably would have raved about this book. :)
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