Most helpful critical review
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
bit of a simulation unfortunately
on 20 August 2013
I found this story gripping throughout, but ultimately disappointing. The first chapter gives away the entire science fictional basis for the tale, and the rest of it reads rather like a cold war thriller. Whilst it was very interesting to learn about Lucy Stone and her ancestry, I was much more interested in the "Krassnian Truth" and its obvious relationship to the first chapter. The info dumps on transcaucasion politics and history were also interesting , if laborious to read, but certain things jarred. What the hell was a "leatherman juice" for example? I had to google it. Gratuitious product placement in sci fi stories really gets on my nerves, particularly when unexplained. I dont even recall if she actually used the thing.
The story cracks on and she discovers her true parentage and gets zapped by an orbital kinetic weapon - splendid! Things finally get exciting, but just when you think its about to really kick off, its finished! She gets a quick visit from the higher whatsit, a brief explanation and thats it. Phut. Not the kind of damp squib I would expect from the brilliant Ken Macleod.
The sci fi premise of this story was done far better by Daniel F Galouye in Simulacron 3.