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I bought this book for Spouse for xmas and then promptly snatched it from him and read it. :) I hope he gets around to reading it soon, because I think he'll like it even more than I did.

I really had fun reading this book. (Since I only have a few minutes a day to read what with the new baby and all, a book being a fun read is kind of a requirement.)

I particularly liked the narrative voice. It's a lot like Neal Stephenson--credibly urban, young, and modern, with enough self-consciousness and wry humor to keep it from being annoying. I also enjoyed the adventure-hero structure applied to a modern, non-fantasy setting. I think this was an aspect that made it so fun to read.

I like also that "what are physical books good for anyway and do they have a place in the modern age" is a theme running through the book. It's something I wrestle with myself quite a bit and I was hoping the story would offer some beautiful insight. That didn't seem to be there, but I still enjoyed the presence of the question.

The development of the female characters was kind of weak. Not, like, Heinlein-weak, but it just read a little like Sloan didn't want to bother developing the women's motivations all that much. I did appreciate when Sloan wrote about an engineer off somewhere in the background and then later referred to that engineer as "she" (catching me in my own sexist assumption of what a generic "engineer" looks like!) and at the end he throws in some layers of complexity in the main love-interest female character, but it read kind of like something he slapped on there when someone pointed out that she was two-dimensional and sort of a fantasy woman.

Still, there are fun characters in the book and it's paced nicely and full of interesting turns. I'd say it's worth a read.

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October 2013

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