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Customer Review

on 2 September 2009
The Electric Church mixes cinematic action sequences with a fast-paced plot and a no-frills, utilitarian writing style - and here lies its Achilles' heel in my view.

The book reads like a film script, with a breathless pace that hurriedly ushers you from one action set-piece to the next, with minimal character development and back-story, making its dystopian world seem flimsy and insubstantial.

Sci-fi at its best is as much about ideas as it is action, and The Electric Church is skewed in favour of the latter at the expense fleshing out the reasons why we should feel sympathetic towards the main characters or an affinity with the world they find themselves in.

Each chapter is no more than a few pages long and meaningful exposition as to why the main protagonists behave as they do and what brought them to where they are now is very thin on the ground.

While the action is fast and furious and the plot clever and expansive, the book ultimately feels disposable, like wolfing down a take-away with a plastic fork from a cardboard container, as opposed to savouring something special that lingers on the palate.

If you want a book that has a similar story theme and action-oriented ethos as The Electric Church but is set in a richly realised universe with believable characters I would recommend Altered Carbon by Richard Morgan. It mixes furious cyberpunk action with an impressive depth of story-telling and character development and is everything that The Electric Church could have, and should have, been.
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Product Details

3.6 out of 5 stars