BRIEF SYNOPSIS: Helward Mann, citizen of City Earth, is inducted into the Futures Guild. Here, he learns the mysterious secret of City Earth, and begins to unravel the mystery surrounding its existence.
PROS: A ‘hard’ science fiction novel where the unravelling of the city’s existence is a real page turner.
CONS: The ending was abrupt and the final revelation made me say: “Meh”.
BOTTOM LINE: Recommended reading.
John’s review hits all the high points and I won’t rehash them here. I will say I didn’t know what to expect when reading this book, although I did accidentally read the author’s acknowledgement at the back. I would say don’t read that. It gives away some of the mystery, although it was still interesting to see how the knowledge I had actually fit into the story. Overall, while dry at times, the writing was engaging and the characters were fairly sympathetic. To my mind, they were secondary to the idea of the city and its universe, but they weren’t distracting. In fact, the book itself was a real page turner, and I read it in about 4 hours. I just had to see where the story was going.
I will say that I knocked a point off for the ending. There are two revelations about City Earth and its citizens, one less interesting than the other. That’s the one that bothered me. I also didn’t like the abrupt ending of the book. Mann acts oddly at the end and I wasn’t sure what the heck the author was doing. Maybe he was just trying to find a way to end it.
Overall, an excellent read. I can see why it was nominated.