A great cover and great blurb had my expectations sky high for this and overall, it didn’t disappoint.
Basically, our main hero, Gethin Bryce, dies in the opening sentence as a result of a shuttle explosion. He’s then reskinned/regenerated/reproduced and has to investigate his own death. Of course, this is the tip of a massive iceberg and where he ends up is extremely surprising, but drip fed throughout so it works.
I really enjoyed this book, but it was really hard work in places. In particular, there are a lot – a LOT – of new technologies thrown at you throughout the story. Some you can figure out fairly easily (e.g. Caves) and others less so – brightquest (travelling fast, maybe, but it also might be heading towards the sun – ie from Mars to Earth), sensorium (some kind of VR I think, but I’m not sure). It doesn’t detract from the plot, but it would help make things clearer to provide the reader with a bit more information.
Also there’s the small matter of Gethin and the saving system. There’s no detail there, or if there is I missed it. Does he come back into a body that looks like him? Is it sculpted from something, or is it grown flesh? Either way, it happens at the instance of his death so its quick! If he’s sculpted, then from what exactly?
This is intelligent, dense, fairly hard core sf which will appeal to fans of Alastair Reynolds, although the world building here is not as good as in the Revelation Space novels.
Apparently, there are a series of short stories set in the same world and they may well make things clearer. As it goes, I’ll look for Trent’s next book as there was enough here to make his future work an intriguing read.
Have you read it? If so, did I miss stuff? Drop a comment below with your thoughts!