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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lots of complexities
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...
Published on March 5, 2010 by Sylvia Wadlington

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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More Bear retreads
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...
Published on January 31, 2010 by Mark G. Lawrence


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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More Bear retreads, January 31, 2010
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This review is from: Mariposa (Hardcover)
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Lots of complexities, March 5, 2010
By 
Sylvia Wadlington (Melbourne Beach Florida) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mariposa (Hardcover)
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Suprisingly good book, August 14, 2010
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This review is from: Mariposa (Hardcover)
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Very fine Greg Bear book, August 11, 2010
This review is from: Mariposa (Hardcover)
I enjoyed this book because I like Greg Bear's writing and story telling style and this is one of his better recent efforts. I recommend this book to Greg Bear fans and especially fans of the Queen of Angels universe because it is somewhat of a prequel to those books. Many of the themes in Queen of Angels begin to take shape in this book in no uncertain terms, even the characters and institutions from Queen of Angels and Slant are in this book if only in passing. Mariposa lays the ground work for the artificial intelligence, psychological manipulation of society, and futuristic criminal investigative techniques that appear in earlier Bear books with this theme (he has others, try Eon for hard sci-fi).

4 stars may be a little high, but I can't give it 3 stars because it is better than that. Quantico is the pre-cursor to this book so you may want to read that first to know a little more about the characters, but I found Quantico unsatisfying from a sci-fi perspective. Quantico was a near-term future crime story, Mariposa felt more futuristic than that but not at all like the future of Queen of Angels with full A.I. and some space exploration. Mariposa is a solid addition to the Greg Bear collection.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For adults: and then as always, the rewards, May 27, 2010
By 
Roald Olos (San Diego, California) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mariposa (Hardcover)
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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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Bear can write better then this, January 9, 2011
This review is from: Mariposa (Hardcover)
I have just finished reading Mariposa. I found the story line unpredictable but clunky. Are editors still pushing authors to assign the president and most senior level management characters to women? As always, it feels like some hackey social statement or weird marketing appeasement. ..or are readers supposed to marvel that some day in some crazy future "a woman" could be in charge of something or president? I found it an annoying distraction. Otherwise the plot seemed hurried, as though Bear had a deadline so brought in a TV writer to wrap it up. The powers were interesting but untested drugs given to senior government people and the military? Really? The main character attacks the US government but never considered the results? How far was his compound from Waco? I never mind subtle gaps in sophisticated physics in a fiction book but like so many movies these days, to fully enjoy this book the reader needs to forgive a lot or be pretty dim.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Near-future Suspense, August 2, 2010
By 
A. Lee (L.A., CA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mariposa (Hardcover)
In a very dystopian near-future, America is falling apart (close to bankrupt due to foreign debt, services closing down, etc.) and ripe for a take-over, particularly by the Talos Corporation, which has been gaining power and wealth by supplying all kinds of government services ala Blackwater. Three FBI agents, working pretty much without official sanction, since the FBI has lost independence and power, are looking into the activities of Talos CEO Axel Price, hoping to discover his plans before it's too late.

Fouad is working undercover in Texas, at Talos's headquarters, William Griffin is checking into a series of murders and acts of terrorism, thought to be related to Talos. And Rebecca Rose is drawn back from an extended sabbatical with the bombing of a conference she attends and then by the President of the U.S., who personally requests she look into a murder perpetrated by the Vice President. Clues lead to Mariposa--a secret project supposedly for developing a new way to treat post-traumatic stress. It seems that the test subjects have experienced strange side effects and now they are being killed off one-by-one, and Rebecca herself was a former patient...

This is an effective tale of suspense and action, but I felt that the characters were not quite developed enough for me to feel the danger of the situation. Perhaps reading the earlier book that also features some of them might have helped, but a book needs to stand at least a bit on its own. There were a lot of interesting ideas going on, but these too didn't seem to be as developed as thoroughly as they could be in order to involve the reader. And the climax seemed a little too easily achieved.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good Sequel, September 19, 2013
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This review is from: Mariposa (Kindle Edition)
At the end of most well written books, you are still ready to hear more about the characters lives. This is a sequel that satisfies that desire more than many. In fact this sequel makes you hope that there will be a third!
Greg Bear's characters are all interesting, even the "evil" players
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4.0 out of 5 stars Engaging sci-fi thriller, January 22, 2013
In the near future, the USA is on the brink of bankruptcy. The FBI - on its way out in the previous book Quantico: A Novel - continues its decline, split into West and East coast branches, both struggling for survival. A vast conspiracy is underway to push the USA over the edge into insolvency, which would put its resources under private enterprise control. The breakdown of the Vice President and an assassination attempt upon the President further destabilize the country. Rebecca Rose, Fouad Al-Husam, and William Griffin have moved on since their adventures in "Quantico," but each works toward preventing the collapse of the United States. Will they succeed, or even survive?

I enjoyed getting to see the three main characters from Quantico: A Novel again. The story itself has little to do with Quantico, other than these characters and the world they live in. That was fine for me.

The book got off to a bit of a rocky start for me, with the Vice President performing an almost unbelievable act. A few pages past there, however, it had me, and pulled me straight through. I enjoyed Quantico, but Mariposa is a better book in pretty much every way I care about: more excitement, more science fiction, and a more interesting view of the main characters.

The writing is strong, the story line is interesting, and it does a good job of pulling you forward and reaching a satisfying conclusion. Definitely worth picking up if you like FBI thrillers with a sprinkling of sci-fi.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good Read, June 2, 2012
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This review is from: Mariposa (Kindle Edition)
Bear comes through again. His style has always appealed to me and this book doesn't disappoint. Plenty of action and memorable characters with Bear's affinity for the future possibilities of cutting edge technology thrown in.
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Mariposa
Mariposa by Greg Bear (Hardcover - November 10, 2009)
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