Most helpful critical review
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Sci fi by numbers
on 17 July 2006
This is a workmanlike technothriller - enjoyable enough, but hardly living up to the promises of 'compelling speculative fiction' that I read in the reviews.
The story takes a while to get going, and I found myself 'tsk'ing over some of the engineering (the description of Alba's life support system in particular had me rolling my eyes - it didn't sound at all right). The characters are well described, but they all seemed far too normal to me; frankly, I felt the whole story could have been transplanted to a twentieth century diamond mine without losing much at all. The science fictiony bit felt like a veneer - a well applied, good-looking veneer, but a veneer nonetheless.
What Spin State does have is an action-packed, twisty plot, and characters who talk about relationships. Granted, even the AI groupminds sound like they've just stepped out of a Clive Cussler, but the pace is good, and the second half of the book scoots along nicely. Pick it up for entertainment, not philosophy.