Top critical review
A confusing shambles. Excellent ideas, unexpectedly poor execution.
on 7 January 2015
I thoroughly enjoyed the first two volumes of this trilogy so was eagerly awaiting the opportunity to read this, the final instalment. I was, however, destined to be sorely disappointed.
Gone is the break-neck pace, elegant prose and satisfyingly smooth narrative flow of the previous volumes to be replaced with grammatically convoluted, overlong sentences (see quote below from page 240 by way of a sadly typical example), pace killing narrative threads which take umpteen chapters to actually progress the plot and a confusing morass of shallow characters and locations.
“He was in the centre of the lab chamber, surrounded by a plethora of holovolumes: sheaves of number; intricate, shifting phase spaces rendered in a thousand hues where every nuance of colour held meaning; and many dimensioned emergenic maps, which tracked the generation of properties emergent from complex substrates, always checking and attempting to predict the emergence of order from chaos.”
Perhaps more generous readers might consider such gibberish challenging (they’d probably really enjoy Rajaniemi’s Quantum Thief), but I just found page after page of this waffle annoying padding. Despite being only a few pages longer than ‘Transmission’ it took me over twice the time to read this volume. It could be me, but I completely failed to get drawn in and ended up skip-reading the last 100 or so pages just to get to the not unexpectedly confusing and rushed finale. It seems to me a typical example of ambition overreaching ability but I don’t understand what went wrong; the first two instalments were excellent and I really enjoyed Meaney’s Tristopolis novels. Shame; a disappointing end to a potentially superb trilogy.