06 August 2007

The Life of the World to Come by Kage Baker

Another Company novel, this one is the most traditionally novel-like of the ones I've read so far (as most are made of connected short stories, rather than a single plot). It clears up a bunch of the questions about the world that she's set up in previous books. I was, however, disappointed that it seemed to be missing the final chapter (in that something big and exciting is just about to happen when the book ends). I suspect that this might be because the final chapter bloomed into a whole book or something? In any case, literally anticlimactic.

She also throws in some odd laser-sharking near the end. Things are pretty weird to start with, but then a whole other weird event occurs which pretty much made me go "wtf?" I can see why she might have put it in thematically (in order to show certain aspects of the story), but I think things would have been better without it. Of course, Baker has had psychic stuff here and there throughout the series, so I guess more weird bits like this are to be expected. I'm still a strong believer in the rule "No magic in science fiction stories!" If people want psychic powers and so on, they should either explain them in a plausible manner or write a fantasy story instead. And just giving the psychic powers a pseudoscientific name doesn't count as explaining it.

All that ranting aside, it's a good book. Exciting, and a lot of exploration of her fun ultra-safe, ultra-puritanical future.

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