Queen Of Angels Paperback – 11 Nov 2010
Customers also shopped for
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
In a world of wonders, wealth and 'perfect' mental health, a famous poet commits gruesome murder.
About the Author
Greg Bear is one of the great figures of contemporary SF. Winner of both the HUGO and the NEBULA AWARDS, his classic novel EON (part of the Masterworks list) was one of the high concept, grand scale SF novels that reinvented the genre in the 1980s. His novel BLOOD MUSIC is a uniquely uplifting apocalyptic novel about evolution overtaking humanity. He lives in the USA.
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
- 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.
Give it a go, it’s worth the shot, because if it does work for you it’ll likely become a fast favourite.
Despite the latter three threads having a common starting point there is virtually no link at all between them; the protagonists of each thread never meet up again and their actions have no effect at all outside their own thread. The only tenuous link between them and the first probe thread is a common theme of ‘self’; its meaning, origin and artificial generation. And it really is tenuous. Other authors have written books with multiple threads that have no connection other than some common visceral and/or philosophic themes; books like David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas or Roberto Bolano’s 2666 spring to mind and they handled these disparate threads in a manner that reinforced the central theme admirably. But I’m afraid Bear fails in this completely and the whole thing felt like three completely separate stories tangled up in each other and, sadly, not very good stories at that. The only thread that, for me, deserved any degree of acclaim was the interstellar probe one which could have worked very successfully as a stand-alone novella or short story.
Add to this Bear’s attempt to be a little experimental in his writing style which made the writing uncomfortable and difficult for this reader and more effort than was justified by any reward the book attempted to give. For example, for some reason he leaves out so many commas that I sometimes had to re-read passages several times to mentally put those commas back in and make sense of it. But this seemed to happen so randomly that at first I thought they might have been scanning errors, this being an older book and my edition being a digital one, but the almost complete absence of any other typos seems to suggest that is an unlikely explanation/excuse. Whatever, the result for me was that I was ready to quit after the first hundred pages and now wish I had. I persisted because I was intrigued by how those threads would come together but since they never did I was only disappointed.
The book took me ages to read because I simply had little inclination to return to it and ultimately did not reward my persistence. For me I’d have to sum Queen of Angels up as simply pretentious and I only gave it two stars instead of one for the probe thread which was an interesting take on the possibility of AIs achieving self-awareness.
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.