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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars8
3.8 out of 5 stars
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 21 November 1999
I actually thought this was rather wonderful. The world Bear creates (which is just 50 years into our future) is believable and frightening. The 'newspeak' works, I think, constantly reminding us that we are in a world which is different from ours, but has evolved from it. The novel is more than just a thriller and contains some very interesting stuff on the nature of free will, evil and the purpose of punishment (if there is one). It took a little while to get into it, but once engaged I was well int 'sneaking off for a quick read when I should have been doing something else' mode.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 18 July 2000
This was one of the first hard science fiction novels I read and I still feel the force behind the emotional climaxe ten years later.
Bear creates a totally believable world, which has been changed almost beyond recognition by nano-technology. It is a world where humans shapes can be customised to suit their wildest taste, and the human mind can be entered and traversed by a therapist in 'virtual' physical form.
But for all Bear's inventivness of character, the reader never feels any great sympathy for their trials and tribulations. This is saved for a computer.
The unforgetable moment in the book is when a enourmously complex and powerful computer, becomes self aware, in a part of space where an answer to a question takes over a year to return. It is a testement to Bear that he is able to make the subject for such a moving moment, emotive science, a computer's unconsolable isolation and lonleness in an unreachable void.
Truely great science fiction and while the rest of the novel is clearly flawedand suffers from Bear's trademark stagnation of pace and looseness of plot control, this moment alone makes the book a significant milestone in science fiction.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 9 March 2001
Yet another excellent example of Bear's work. The world he creates is rich and interesting, not to mention believable.
Queen of Angels is the first book in a series of three - Slant, Heads and Moving Mars. If you enjoy this book, Slant and Moving Mars come highly recommended, where as Heads is a little disappointing.
Sadly, Amazon don't seem to stock Moving Mars, which is a shame, because it's an incredible ending to this series.
Country of the Mind sounds like it may also belong with this collection, but I have yet to see a copy, so I'm not sure.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 2 January 2012
When compared to other works by Greg Bear such as EON or Halo: Cryptum this story is a little disappointing.
The story takes a long time to get up to speed and the ending, however good, doesn't make up for the short falls in this particular book. In particular it is marred by an over indulgence of references to physical appearance/state of one of the main characters, so much so it becomes tiresome. To a lesser extent it is also marred by the use of "newspeak" which really doesn't work well. I am in no hurry to read the sequel.
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VINE VOICEon 6 August 2014
A futuristic sci-fi thriller:
- a poet kills several young admirers;
- Mary Choy a police investigator is sent to catch him;
- Robert, another poet, tries to understand his motivation;
- Martin Burke journeys into his mind in an attempt to understand more about the psyche of a killer.
- lastly, and completely unrelatedly, AXIS is an intelligent computer sent to explore a far away star system, and JILL is its counterpart on Earth.

I read this book with my face-to-face reading group, at the strong recommendation of one of our members. The views across the group were mixed, but I personally hated it!

For a start, I hated the writing style. It is written in convoluted and flowery language, and uses a lot of made up words – which occasionally manages to be poetic, but is mostly just irritating and hard to penetrate. Secondly, the plot is very complex, and the separate strands of story fail to interweave meaningfully. (NB: I have subsequently realised that this is the first in a series, which goes some way towards explaining why there are so many plot strands that don’t really interact very much).

On the positive side, it does have some good characters, especially Mary Choy, and the main story, once it eventually gets going, is quite compelling. But overall, this book didn’t “gel” for me and the only reason I finished it is that was so strongly recommended by a friend.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 12 February 2011
I read slant ages ago and forgot there was a prequel - went and got it and it is very good - a little bit too future-tastic in lingoland, but the story/character/theme is good - reminded me a bit of islands in the net when Mary gets lost in Haiti...i thought it slighlty sagged at the end
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on 4 April 2014
Many people find the subject matter not to their liking. I can’t say much without revealing the plot, but suffice to say, if you like sci-fi and find the mind & consciousness something of interest; you’ll probably find the novel of interest. Like most of his novels this one tugs at the heartstrings in a major way, at least if the novel ‘works for you’.

Give it a go, it’s worth the shot, because if it does work for you it’ll likely become a fast favourite.
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 23 February 1999
Definitly lot as good as his later works, this psycological thriller is set in a future LA where the population is split into two groups, the 'therapied' and the 'un-therapied'. It is often written in a dis-jointed 'new-speak', which not only detracts from the story line, but becomes annoying and difficult to read. I hope 'Slant', the sequal is better
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