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Equations of Life (Samuil Petrovitch Novels (Paperback)) Mass Market Paperback – 1 Apr 2011


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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit; Reissue edition (1 April 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316125180
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316125185
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 3.2 x 17.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,290,661 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Gateshead-based Dr Simon Morden trained as a planetary geologist, realised he was never going to get into space, and decided to write about it instead. His writing career includes an eclectic mix of short stories, novellas and novels which blend science fiction, fantasy and horror, a five-year stint as an editor for the British Science Fiction Association, a judge for the Arthur C Clarke Awards, and regular speaking engagements at the Greenbelt arts festival.

Simon has written eight novels and novellas. The wonderfully tentacular Another War (2005), was shortlisted for a World Fantasy Award, and 2007 saw the publication of The Lost Art, which was shortlisted for the Catalyst Award. The first three books starring everybody's favourite sweary Russian scientist, Samuil Petrovitch (Equations of Life, Theories of Flight, Degrees of Freedom) were published in three months of each other in 2011, and collectively won the Philip K Dick Award - the fourth Petrovitch, The Curve of the Earth, was published in 2013.

In a departure to the usual high-tech mayhem, 2014 sees the arrival of Arcanum, a massive (and epic) alternate-history fantasy, which not only has flaming letters on the cover, but the story inside is "enthralling", "intelligent", "impeccably rendered" (Kirkus), and "engrossing", "satisfying" and "leaving the reader craving for more (Publishers' Weekly). Which is nice.

Product Description

Review

A fast-paced thriller . . . an absorbing read (TELEGRAPH)

Speeds along with energetic panache (THE TIMES)

Morden has a natural talent for a plot that keeps the reader guessing (GUARDIAN)

Morden keeps up a breathless breakneck pace that doesn't sacrifice character depth or intelligence . . . promises to be a fast-paced thrill ride for the cynical urban space cowboy in all of u s' i09 ('As fun and gripping as it sounds')

Petrovitch is one of those characters you can't help but warm to, and readers will be keen to experience more of his adventures and relentless Russian swearing (FINANCIAL TIMES) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

The start of an explosive new trilogy of thrillers, set in the decaying urban jungle of a future London. Welcome to the Metrozone - mind the gap. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By R. Palmer on 13 May 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The world of Equations of Life is set two decades after 'Armageddon'. The world has been hit by a number of nuclear attacks leaving London as England's sole surviving city. The rest of the world hasn't fared much better; may people have been left radiation scarred by their experiences in the Armageddon. The Japanese have fared even worse. The islands have been, by the start of the novel, completely submerged and all Japanese are forced to live elsewhere.

This sets up the novel for the introduction of Samuil Petrovich. Living in the now - even more crowded - city of London where the parks are now made up of shanty towns constructed from old shipping containers, Petrovich is apparently a young and bright postgraduate student. Early on, he save Sonja Oshicora from kidnapping and finds that his quiet life is about to be disturbed as Sonja is the daughter of the head of the powerful Oshicora corporation.

From this point on, the pace is unrelenting. Over the next few days of Petrovich's life, after nearly dying from the shock of his exertions in saving Sonja due to a weak heart, he is caught up in a complicated war between the Oshicora corporation and a Ukrainian mobster, who models himself on Stalin.

This could all seem a little on the small time good guy takes on the bad guys and WINS. But that would be unfair. For starters, we can infer early on that Petrovich is perhaps not quite all that he seems. As the novel progresses, it becomes clear that his background needs a little explaining. In amongst all this, I think it is really only Petrovich's character that is fully developed. This novel is the first part of a trilogy, so hopefully Simon Morden can imbue the supporting cast with a little more character over these novels.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Patrick Shepherd on 9 May 2013
Format: Paperback
Perhaps the first lesson to be learned from this book is that being a Good Samaritan can lead to horrendous consequences. Petrovich, a young college student, is the Samaritan, even though he tells himself at the time that helping a young lady apparently being kidnapped is a bad idea. The lady happens to be the daughter of one of the Metrozone's (post-Armageddon London) main crime bosses, and the would-be kidnappers are henchmen of one of the other crime bosses, so this immediately leads to Petrovich becoming deeply involved in their rivalry and with a price on his head, complicated by his having a bad heart that is on its last legs.

Just for icing on the cake, Petrovich is just about the ultimate geek, busily working on a Grand Unified Field theory as a sideline to running away from or confronting various goons, and is quite competent in all matters computer related.

There is mystery, action (and more action), a fine display of just what intelligence can do when applied to the real world, believable threats, a well-developed background world that has a nice gritty feel to it, and a fair amount of sarcasm and humor. It's a fun read, one you can become easily engrossed in, and will want to hurry back to its pages to find out what happens next. Petrovich himself is an intriguing character, with a lot hiding behind your initial impression of him, and the supporting characters range from a gun-toting giantess of a nun to a police chief who does nothing but plant bugs on people.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Russell Smith VINE VOICE on 22 Jun. 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
We're in London, in some kind of near future, post-apocalyptic world. We're following a young Russian refugee, Petrovich, who has computer skills and access to funds, but prefers to live a low-key, anonymous existence. The only interactions he seems to have are with his local cafe owner, and a university colleague.

The opening chapters of Equations of Life are intriguing, if slightly familiar - I found myself imagining the film 'Children of Men', with its similarly bleak, grey vision of a future London. The details and back story are left quite sketchy, but given that this is the first book in a planned series of 20, there should be plenty of time to fill in the blanks.

Once the scene is set, however, things escalate rapidly, and go from believable sci-fi to full-on, mildly preposterous action movie. It's not a bad thing by any means, but it does take you by surprise a little.

Petrovich gets involved in a kidnapping attempt, and soon we're in the territory of feuding uber-gangsters, indestructible nuns and pseudo-religious machine war. Luckily, there is a decent idea at the core of the story, which is sufficient to maintain interest through the more bombastic set-pieces.

It may not have been the book I expected at the beginning, but I enjoyed it enough to look for the second instalment. I suspect that twenty books will prove to be a little over-ambitious, but for now I'll give Simon Morden the benefit of the doubt.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 3 April 2011
Format: Paperback
If you like a book where an author creates a memorable character then you really have to try this title by Simon Morden. Within this title you'll meet Petrovitch, calculating, logical and above all else selfish, until the day he breaks his own rules and puts his life in danger. It's a great story of human development as the tales hero has to adapt to the changes and it's a title that really is fascinating purely for the fact that it relies as truly great tales do on few other characters which allows the reader to really get to know them. So much so that crazy is as crazy does in a world gone mad with full throttle Petrovitch in survival mode with his million to one shot plans.

Add to this a post-apocalyptic world where life is cheap and a fistful of people who'd do anything to maintain control backed with great storytelling alongside decent prose and you know that it's a story that will thrill, excite and keep the reader entertained to its conclusion which made this a seriously great find from our friends at Orbit and a series that will have a lot to live up to.
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