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The Restoration Game Paperback – 7 Apr 2011

18 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit (7 April 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841496464
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841496467
  • Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 2.4 x 17.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 456,040 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Since graduating from Glasgow University in 1976, Ken MacLeod has worked as a computer analyst in Edinburgh. He now writes full-time.

Product Description

Review

Sly humour, deftly drawn characters and intricate plotting . . . this is a writer at the peak of his powers (SFX)

This is one of the great ironies of contemporary literature: the books that ask the deepest and most profound questions tend to be situated in the most marginalised of genres... Ken MacLeod's [novels] are works of science fiction so worryingly close to rea (SCOTLAND ON SUNDAY)

Book Description

The compelling new near-future thriller from the award-winning author of THE EXECUTION CHANNEL and THE NIGHT SESSIONS.

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By S. Egan on 22 May 2011
Format: Hardcover
I won't fill in the details of the narrative as many others have already done this.

As i read this book I kept on coming up with questions:

Why the prologue on Mars and then the abrupt shift? Why all the attention on history, particularly the cold war, Russia and spying? Why does it feel as if the main sci-fi element is only incidental?

In fact most of the book feels more like a spy thriller than a sci-fi novel.

However, all is not as it seems....

Ken Macleod has written an entertaining novel that keeps you reading. As the main mysteries are nominally solved there is still the feeling of more going on.

This is because Ken MacLeod goes well beyond the sci-fi tropes he is using. Beyond the fun metaphysical speculation he is also saying something deeply serious about the state of our world today and our potential.

This ability of his to use standard sci-fi concepts to speak directly about our societies, where we've come from and where we might get to is really exhilarating and the mark of true mastery of the medium.

Don't think you've figured out The Restoration Game until you've read the last word. Then sit down and think a bit about it. It's an enriching experience.

Thanks Ken!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By El Gerardo on 24 April 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really didn't know what to expect from this book. I am a great fan of Ken MacLeod - he manages to write sci-fi in a way that does not get bogged down in too much detail. He does not have to describe/justify every leap of belief, just states it and you go with it. This story is set in the very near future, the distant future and ... at the risk of giving a little bit of the game away ... somewhere else.
Mostly it's a good old fashioned spy story with some very modern twists. I really enjoyed it and so will you if you like your sci-fi populated with real people in real situations and not full of robots and Jedis.
Recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By DB on 11 Dec. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I suppose it is a sign of the increasing respectability of science fiction amongst literary circles, but there appear to be two new hybrid genres springing up: "serious mainstream/SF" and "thriller/SF", where the cores of the books aren't really SF at all, but they are set in a near-future with a veneer of speculative science. And they are generally pretty enjoyable. A lot of thanks has to go to Salman Rushdie and Margaret Atwood for essentially inventing the first hybrid, and to Iain (M) Banks for additional respectability, even though he doesn't hybridise.

"The Restoration Game" is definitely part of the second hybrid genre, and a good example of it. The central nine tenths could almost have been written by John Le Carre (which is in itself a recommendation), and it is only the top and tail that get the novel put on the SF shelves of the bookshops.

I liked the heroines, and a well-paced plot made the book a definite page-turner. It's the first Ken McLeod I have read, but I'll certainly check out some more of his stuff.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Nick Craig-Wood on 4 July 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have avidly read all of Ken Macleod's books, and was looking forward to this one greatly. The book is set in the near future and the protagonist Lucy Stone is a likable young woman with an interest in technology and a rather unusual upbringing.

There is a lot of rather complicated soviet era politics in the book, and in that it reminded me of The Star Fraction the start of Ken Macleod's unmissable Fall Revolutions Series. There is a bit of video game development, a bit of romance, and quite a lot of conspiracy.

The book's central idea is one that I found extremely thought provoking. I had to read the start and the end of the book twice before it all made sense!

I'm hoping very much Ken Macleod will use it as an opener for a new series of books tilting off into the future, which will allow him to open the ideas tap even wider.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a book about conspiracies, one which of which seems to involve me. I bought this novel in the Edinburgh SF bookshop, 'Transreal', mentioned in this novel. All of of the novel's locations in Edinburgh and New Zealand I have been to. This congruence slightly spooked me.

After an opening scene set on Mars in what appears to be a 'shooter' style computer game we are introduced to Lucy Stone, who is meeting her boyfriend at Auckland airport when she is paged that he has been 'delayed'. She knows that this is a euphemism for kidnapped. Over generations, the secret of the 'Vrai', a semi-mythical race inhabiting 'Krassnia', an erst-while Soviet republic, now the scene of a clash over oil, has been kept in Lucy's family. But this current spat has roots going way back into Russian history. Its current and past participants go right to the top in both Russia and the West.

This novel essentially re-interprets Russian and Soviet history around what is on one level an intra-family spat but which reaches out into wider and wider circles, all around conspiracies centred around the legend of the Vrai. Lucy gets drawn in initially when the computer game company she works for is given a contract to create a game around the Vrai legend. Her knowledge of Krassnia and its mythology is invaluable but draws her into plots which may involve other family members, for example her 'real' father.

While well-plotted, with a nice balance of humour and serious spy stuff, and lots to say about Soviet/Communist politics, the final twist is a little cliched. But I certainly enjoyed the ride, especially as so much of it was familiar.
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