REVIEW SUMMARY: Solid novel by a very talented SF author. While it isn’t quite as good as some of Bear’s other works, it is definitely worth reading.
BRIEF SYNOPSIS: In 2031, new FBI agent William Griffin battles the legacy of his father, also an FBI agent, a terrorist bent on unleashing a weapon of mass destruction, and his own government in this novel of intrigue and infighting. It is a futuristic techno-thriller that spans the globe chasing down middle-eastern terrorist (Jews in this case) and disenfranchised Americans.
PROS: Fun book that is serious in its subject matter (terrorism) that manages to have you cheering on the good guys. The action moves smoothly and the topic is honestly a little scary. The SF elements of the future technology are interesting – they are close enough to today’s technology that it isn’t hard to imagine that being the future. In particular interest are the tracking technologies available in a world where tracing terror suspects is an imperative.
CONS: The government infighting portions seems a bit forced – it would have a fine novel without it. Some of the character motivations aren’t always clear which can make their actions appear arbitrary.
BOTTOM LINE: A thought-provoking thriller set about 25 years in the future that is a great read. It isn’t very long but the action is interesting and the high-tech weapons (which are in the labs today but not in the field) lend an interesting SF element. Overall I recommend it.