- Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: Orbit (7 April 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1841496464
- ISBN-13: 978-1841496467
- Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 2.4 x 17.6 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 838,643 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Restoration Game Paperback – 7 Apr 2011
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Sly humour, deftly drawn characters and intricate plotting . . . this is a writer at the peak of his powers (SFX)
This is one of the great ironies of contemporary literature: the books that ask the deepest and most profound questions tend to be situated in the most marginalised of genres... Ken MacLeod's [novels] are works of science fiction so worryingly close to rea (SCOTLAND ON SUNDAY)
The compelling new near-future thriller from the award-winning author of THE EXECUTION CHANNEL and THE NIGHT SESSIONS.See all Product description
Top Customer Reviews
Most of the book describes Lucy's (a young woman working for a games developer in Edinburgh) experiences as she is sucked into a bizarre conspiracy which combines the politics of the Caucasus (this is in 2008, the year that tension between Russia and Georgia spilled over), family history, smuggling and the CIA. This is a fast moving strand and there is a good contrast drawn between the stoically ordinary Lucy (who has, though, a dramatic past) and a strange gallery of figures (some relatives) who appear to overturn her life. I was reminded a bit of the setup of a John Buchan novel (though the politics are much further Left). Perhaps the only jarring note here is how readily Lucy agrees to drop everything and go off on a quixotic mission in Krassnia, the Caucasian republic at the centre of things. But that may be explained in the denouement (difficult to say more without giving things away). "Restoration", it turns out, is a theme throughout the book, with a number of different levels of meaning.
But this is more than an action thriller. Framing the book is a different perspective, which recurs here and there in the main narrative, not being resolved until the very end. You can then go back and read the opening section with a completely different level of understanding.
It's all very deftly done, and if this is typical of MacLeod's work, I need to do some catching up with his earlier books. I'd be grateful suggestions about where best to start!
It is, of course, well written, as you'd expect of a Ken Macleod novel. Narrated in the first person, singularly female, the story is set pretty much anywhere between Edinburgh and Auckland, but mainly happens in the small state of Krassnia, sandwiched somewhere between Georgia, Ossetia and Abkhazia.
Looking back on it, it is fairly obvious where it's going, but the tale seems to me to get a little bogged down in back-story, making it a bit hard going at times. It wasn't until half way through that the penny dropped, but that didn't stop my overall enjoyment.
It seems that what we've got here is one very powerful and interesting but not wholly original idea. And the idea does not really lend itself to a narrative. In that a story can be made of it at all is an achievement, and there are some appealing characters moving the action along, not least the heroine Lucy Stone. In the end, there is no great surprise. Still, putting that central idea into a narrative does allow Macleod to test out a few 'what if' scenarios and some of those are really fun. What if Spartacus's slave revolt had won? Would Latin still be the lingua franca? Would there be Romans on Mars?
There are several references to external events and characters - apart from Georgia and Ossetia, there are, for example, references to Slartibartfast, ...Read more ›
"The Restoration Game" is definitely part of the second hybrid genre, and a good example of it. The central nine tenths could almost have been written by John Le Carre (which is in itself a recommendation), and it is only the top and tail that get the novel put on the SF shelves of the bookshops.
I liked the heroines, and a well-paced plot made the book a definite page-turner. It's the first Ken McLeod I have read, but I'll certainly check out some more of his stuff.
Mostly it's a good old fashioned spy story with some very modern twists. I really enjoyed it and so will you if you like your sci-fi populated with real people in real situations and not full of robots and Jedis.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
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... Read morePublished on 20 Aug. 2013 by Longman
Ken macleod doesnt write bad books
If you domt like his books you wont like this but I do so suits me
The Restoration Game
I've dragged myself to page of 189 of 342 waiting for something even vaguely science fiction-y to happen and have now given up. Read more
This is my fifth Ken Macleod, his early books had great ideas, but the writing and plotting didn't always live up to them. Read morePublished on 2 Feb. 2013 by Lendrick
While the over-story of the book is clearly science fiction the actual telling of the tale is not for most of the time. Read morePublished on 12 April 2012 by Paul J. Kulhavy
I have avidly read all of Ken Macleod's books, and was looking forward to this one greatly. The book is set in the near future and the protagonist Lucy Stone is a likable young... Read morePublished on 4 July 2011 by Nick Craig-Wood
I won't fill in the details of the narrative as many others have already done this.
As i read this book I kept on coming up with questions:
Why the prologue... Read more
This is a book about conspiracies, one which of which seems to involve me. I bought this novel in the Edinburgh SF bookshop, 'Transreal', mentioned in this novel. Read morePublished on 15 May 2011 by A. J. Poulter
I found myself seriously entertaining the idea that the main premise of this book could actually be true. Good read.Published on 2 May 2011 by Tarom Halec