Tag Archives: sci-fi

Review of The Quantum Thief (Jean le Flambeur #1), by Hannu Rajaniemi

I borrowed an audio copy of The Quantum Thief, by Hannu Rajaniemi through the library.

Description from Goodreads:

Jean le Flambeur is a post-human criminal, mind burglar, confidence artist, and trickster. His origins are shrouded in mystery, but his exploits are known throughout the Heterarchy— from breaking into the vast Zeusbrains of the Inner System to stealing rare Earth antiques from the aristocrats of Mars. Now he’s confined inside the Dilemma Prison, where every day he has to get up and kill himself before his other self can kill him.

Rescued by the mysterious Mieli and her flirtatious spacecraft, Jean is taken to the Oubliette, the Moving City of Mars, where time is currency, memories are treasures, and a moon-turnedsingularity lights the night. What Mieli offers is the chance to win back his freedom and the powers of his old self—in exchange for finishing the one heist he never quite managed.

As Jean undertakes a series of capers on behalf of Mieli and her mysterious masters, elsewhere in the Oubliette investigator Isidore Beautrelet is called in to investigate the murder of a chocolatier, and finds himself on the trail of an arch-criminal, a man named le Flambeur….


Not bad and I think there was probably a time—back when I read a lot more hard science fiction—that I would have loved it. Now, I enjoyed the ride, but was never able to immerse myself in it. You spend a lot of time….confused isn’t the word, but definitely waiting to have things explained. But the prose is beautiful, I did like the characters and the story does eventually loop back around to make a sort of sense. Plus, the narrator (Scott Brick) did a fabulous job. But the story is just a little too like water, slipping through your grasp, for my taste.

Review of Gods, Monsters, and the Lucky Peach – by Kelly Robson

I borrowed a paperback copy of Kelly Robson‘s Gods, Monsters, and the Lucky Peach from the local library.

Description from Goodreads:

Discover a shifting history of adventure as humanity clashes over whether to repair their ruined planet or luxuriate in a less tainted pass.

In 2267, Earth has just begun to recover from worldwide ecological disasters. Minh is part of the generation that first moved back up to the surface of the Earth from the underground hells, to reclaim humanity’s ancestral habitat. She’s spent her entire life restoring river ecosystems, but lately the kind of long-term restoration projects Minh works on have been stalled due to the invention of time travel. When she gets the opportunity take a team to 2000 BC to survey the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, she jumps at the chance to uncover the secrets of the shadowy think tank that controls time travel technology. 


Not bad, and I liked it a lot more by the end than I did the beginning. I thought the way the two narratives were interspersed and eventually intersected was really clever and I liked the world with it’s generational differences and integrated tech. (And I love that the main character is an 83-year-old woman.) But honestly I was bored for a lot of the time while reading this. So, my overall experience was middle of the road.

Review of HALO: Smoke and Shadow, by Kelly Gay

I won a paperback copy of Kelly Gay‘s contribution to the Halo universe, Smoke and Shadow.

Description from Goodreads:

Find. Claim. Profit. In a post-war galaxy littered with scrap, it’s the salvager’s motto. And with a fast ship and a lust for adventure, Rion Forge has certainly made her mark on the trade. When the discovery of a wrecked UNSC cruiser brings Rion’s past back to haunt her, stirring fresh hope into a decades-old wound, she’s hell-bent on finding answers: What really happened to her father and his ship, the Spirit of Fire?


As I said, I won this book through a giveaway and, having not read any of the previous 18 books or ever played the game, I was really going in blind with reading it. But I was able to follow it without problem and it was engaging enough. I felt it would have been better suited for a full-length novel than the novella it is. It could have done with the room to flesh it out. And there is a bit of predictable tragedy I’d have preferred to do without. But all in all, I’d be willing to read the next book in Gay’s arc of the Halo franchise. (However, having just read a review of HALO: Renegades with some pretty major spoilers in it, I guess I don’t need to. To be fair the reviewer was pointing out the events of other books in the universe that functioned as spoilers to Renegades, but having not read those other books it was their review that was the spoiler.)