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Mariposa Hardcover – November 10, 2009

18 customer reviews
Book 2 of 2 in the Quantum Logic Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In bestseller Bear's intriguing near-future thriller, a powerful financier stands ready to seize control of America as the nation teeters on the brink of economic collapse. The Texas-based Talos Corp., helmed by CEO Axel Price, specializes in security technology software and the training of mercenaries. Standing between Price and the downfall of America are a few hardy FBI agents, notably Rebecca Rose, one of the stars of the previous book in the series, Quantico. Besides the nefarious Price, dangers include a supercomputer, Jones Zero, that may or may not be acting on the side of justice, and the fact that Rebecca and others have been used as guinea pigs for a powerful mind- and body-altering drug, Mariposa. Under less capable hands, the extraordinarily complicated plot, numbers of characters and the constant explanations of future technologies might lead to terminal turgidity, but SF veteran Bear keeps everything whizzing right along to the slam-bang conclusion. (Nov.)
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From Booklist

Following Quantico (2007), this second novel in sf veteran Bear’s Rebecca Rose series continues his dystopian, near-future vision of the U.S. and its failing economy. Rebecca Rose returns from an extended vacation to complete the FBI agent team introduced in the earlier book. They’re up against a clever megalomaniac, Axel Price, who is one step away from a takeover of the U.S. government. Under the guise of a medical-treatment program for post-traumatic stress disorder victims, Price is using the code-named Mariposa Project to build a personal army of sociopaths. A fast-moving thriller that posits an absolutely convincing and utterly frightening future. --Elliott Swanson

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Vanguard Press; First Edition edition (November 10, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593154976
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593154974
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.5 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #430,943 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Greg Bear is the author of more than thirty books, spanning thrillers, science fiction, and fantasy, including Blood Music, Eon, The Forge of God, Darwin's Radio, City at the End of Time, and Hull Zero Three. His books have won numerous international prizes, have been translated into more than twenty-two languages, and have sold millions of copies worldwide. Over the last twenty-eight years, he has also served as a consultant for NASA, the U.S. Army, the State Department, the International Food Protection Association, and Homeland Security on matters ranging from privatizing space to food safety, the frontiers of microbiology and genetics, and biological security.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Mark G. Lawrence on January 31, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have just finished reading two Greg Bear books: City at the End of Time, and Mariposa.
Mariposa is the better book; a tightly plotted political thriller. City at the End of Time is just awful: amorphous and bloated, it makes little sense, and the ending provides no satisfaction at all.
The books share a common trait, though; they are both inferior retreads of previous Bear works.
City at tne End of Time is very similar to the his alternate reality fantasy from the 80's about the young wizard. The second book, The Serpent Mage, is about a world whose foundations are fallling apart and need a new creation to be saved. City has basically the same plot, but with a ridiculous many-worlds pseudo-quantum physics underpinning. Just as in Serpent Mage, the fate of the world lies with "breeds" who have unusual and unexpected powers. The old gods in Serpent Mage have the names of the gods of earth, while in City they are called Typhon, Sangmer, et. al.
Mariposa reads like Queen of Angels, with similar plot devices and even some of the same characters.
The themes---about how technology, computers and medicine will unleash new and sometimes dangerous capabilities, are interesting, but Mariposa says nothing that wasn't said better in Queen of Angels.
Also, like Queen of Angels, Mariposa falls apart near the end with a completely unbelievable, operatic weaving together of the storylines in the book.

By itself, Mariposa is not bad. It's just so disappointing to find a talented and interesting writer with nothing new to say. He could have skipped this one and City and we'd all think the better of him.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Sylvia Wadlington on March 5, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Mariposa by Greg Bear is a story laden with complexities. There are a lot of characters of and a lot going on. It's one of those books where you have to mentally keep track of who is where and what's happening. This only adds to the mystery and suspense of the story, allowing you to exercise your brain while enjoying it all. Basically the government is on the verge of financial collapse and the various security agencies are competing against each other for survival. There is also a rogue computer and a hand full of people coping with the fact that the eugenics treatment used to save them is turning some of them into psychopaths. It's like reading four books at the same time, though everything is well connected and the randomness of events keeps the suspense tuned on high throughout the story. The science is especially well handled with real, almost real and yet to come, all seamlessly melded together, leaving you to wonder which things are already developed and what is yet to come.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By John Bartas on August 14, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I didn't really expect to like this - from the reviews it seemed a little too pro-spook and right-wing for my tastes. I took a chance because I've enjoyed other Bear books over the years, especially "Darwins Radio". Fortunately Bear's politics turn out to be pretty centrist and don't interfere with a great read. And the political intrigue was laced with the kind of first rate sci-fi that I love. I zipped though this book in 2 days, finding myself stealing time from other activities to keep reading it. It's a page-turner.

Bear's imaginary Mercenary company Talos seems to be a thinly disguised version of real-life Blackwater Security. Mariposa's villian, Talos CEO Axel Price is portrayed as a murderous thug months before real life Blackwater CEO Eric Prince was implicated in political murders: [...]. And (I'll try to avoid spoilers here) other actions Price takes in the book are very close to the latest rumors about Prince. Bear is either a very lucky guesser, or very, very sharp.

The technologies Bear creates here are also fascinating. The idea of a PTSD treatment slowly having unexpected side effects was presented in a very believable and entertaining way. Some of the message passing technologies, while not exactly new, were very clever. To say any more would be a spoiler - just watch out for snakes.

Unlike a lot of sci-fi the characters were believable. I found myself upset when good guys died, and happy when they got rewarded. The end of the book was very satisfying. It left me feeling like I'd glimpsed the near future of America, and there was hope.

My only complaint with this book is that it was over too soon. I guess I'll have to go back and read it's predecessor, Quantico.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Roald Olos on May 27, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
We often read action novels for the pleasures of being caught up in their momentums, and then returning refreshed, and with a sense of justice fulfilled, where it might not always be as clearly so out in our regular world.

To have a writer with the imagination and insight of Greg Bear make the story means you get a lot to consider about as well, with unusual and thoughtful surprises at many points along the way.

Actually, I think it's those surprises, which appear all around the central plot, that make this book.

In writing about a possible near future from the turmoil of the present, you can feel a powerful artist's instinct drawing in what it knows must be there, the doors and windows through which our better humanity will find its ways to escape, and build something better.

In fact, we grow to understand, experience with, and then wish very well for some quite unexpectedly transitional persons; as well as appreciate to encounter shadowy personalities that it never will be quite possible to fully meet; and meanwhile along the way, find somehow incredibly sympathetic a backgrounded, partially aware computer intelligence which is different from any before -- though of course Greg has already been justly famous for giving us a taste of our yearnings through these beings we might make, who may have sometimes wider yet differently attuned vision from our own, and help us see our world whole.

An adventure, then, but with thoughtfulness also. There's violence as one might expect, and some one might not, so be ready for that, and the pace of the opening chapters.

In some fellow-feeling with one of it's central character's paths, this book may be a kind of desert passage we probably won't have to take, but will do better from having known about.
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