Top critical review
Disturbing and interesting in equal measure
on 29 October 2013
There is an element of the book which seems to revel in the base behaviours of primate-like beings. Rape, infanticide, and excessive violence are described in almost glorified, pornographic terms. The protest will be that this is 'natural' animal behaviour but it is written through human eyes. This can be disturbing and while it is used to help the understanding of the behaviours of the characters, there were times when I considered if I really needed to be presented with the situations in such vivid terms. At the very least the book should have a health warning of the explicit nature of some of the writing.
The concept however is again, excellent. The base tenet of the Fermi-Hart Paradox using the Manifold familiar characters is great. Despite the recognition of the characters traits from previous books, they still feel fresh but at the same time familiar and comfortable. Baxter's writing style uses many scientific concepts to carry plot lines but even to a layman, it is easy to read and follow what is another in the series of great stories.