Customer Review

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I read this in one sitting, 21 May 2011
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This review is from: Theories Of Flight: Metrozone Book 2 (Samuil Petrovitch Novels) (Paperback)
I picked up 'Equations of Life' in a certain high street bookshop as the third book in a 2 for 3 offer with no great expectations.

The gun motif with the '1' in it had me puzzled at first over whether or not it actually was science fiction and the cover wasn't a great indicator. In the event I found that I enjoyed the book hugely and promptly ordered the rest of the trilogy on Amazon (I want the third one NOW). I read Theories of Flight in one sitting.

The bones of the plot don't sound hugely original at first assessment but there are enough details and touches that the little devices flow well and just work. A lot of genre fiction like this comes across as either working too hard or trying to cram too much in. There is a lot going on for sure and trying to explain the entirety of the book makes it sound very complicated but it works.

There are several threads from the activities of the supporting characters to advancements in science and the street politics of a dystopian England that are skilfully combined to make the story and the characters very three dimensional.

The writing style is sparse and the protagonist is superbly realised as a multilayered, complicated individual without the noir clichés that usually mark the norm.

Simon Morden has surprised me - if like me you're slightly put off by the hackneyed image the setting evokes prepare to be pleasantly surprised.

Whether the post apocalypse thing is your bag or not this is a well crafted and properly thought out novel that had me engrossed. The setting and the situation are integral to the story without being the story and I like that. If you want to be snobby you can say it's not high art and you can't point to any high conceptual idea in the way you can with something like Chris Beckett's 'Holy Machine' but the book makes no pretensions in that direction.

This is one of those novels that should cross genre boundaries and I expect great things from Mr Morden in the future.
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