Hey! It's another debut novel! It's been receiving high praise! Did I like it? No!
Really, I didn't like this at all. It's basically Johnny 5. That sounds kinda cool, but it's not. It's slow and plodding. The big reveals are obvious. Painfully obvious. So obvious you want to shout at the book every time a character hasn't realized them yet.
One of the plot lines involves a long series of interrogations. The problem is that we're given no reason to care about the outcome of them. We haven't come to care about the characters involved. When the interrogations resolve at the end, it's impressive from a technical perspective, I guess, but I just didn't care.
The other plot line involves an easier character about which to care. Too bad her arc is pretty poor. She gains some personal strength, but never really any awareness of her position.
Things ramp up at the end, but it's a long slog to get there. The book ends just when I was actually getting interested.
A lot of attention has been paid to the author's credentials in physics. You sure don't see them in the book. This isn't hard science fiction. There's a little about black holes, but nothing I couldn't have detailed myself. The basics of black holes aren't esoteric knowledge anymore. Parts of the technology are simply anachronistic. This is supposed to take place on a space ship so advanced they've hidden it away, yet there's some really old technology that won't be used here on Earth all that much longer, much less in space in the future.
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