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Selling Out (Quantum Gravity, Book 2) Paperback – October 31, 2007

20 customer reviews
Book 2 of 5 in the Quantum Gravity Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Cyborg secret agent Lila Black learns that her worst enemy may be her own traumatic past in Robson's high-powered second Quantum Gravity installment (after 2006's Keeping It Real). Lila's first assignment was a disaster: she was forced to kill a friend to save elven rock star Zal, and now that friend, the elven necromancer Tath, lives inside her, commenting on her actions à la Jiminy Cricket. There's no cure for a tough job like diving headfirst into another, so now Lila is off on an undercover mission to Demonia to investigate the results of the recent quantum bomb explosion and learn how Zal managed to travel to Hell and become part demon. Her investigation is complicated by her cover as a journalist reporting on Demonian high society, as dangerous forces lurk behind the social whirl of luxurious parties. Robson's mix of magical and technological elements, intrigue and action should be just the thing for paranormal and fantasy adventure readers. (Oct.)
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From Booklist

Robson continues, from Keeping It Real (2007), the story of super cyborg secret-agent-extraordinare Lila Black as she follows her former charge Zal, the most famous rock star in Otopia, into Demonia. Lila's ostensible job is to figure out what exactly the elf Zal did that allowed him to become part demon and change his magic. In love with beauty and life's extremes, the demons truly enjoy entangling a human in their strange politics. But Lila, still struggling with being a cyborg, has to cope with those politics, which her bosses didn't entirely understand and couldn't warn her about effectively. Unfortunately, help in Demonia comes with a price and is unlikely to be what one expects. Lila remains entangled in the Game with Zal, and her employers are still holding on to secrets. Clearly having fun in a world of elves, fairies, and high-tech toys, Robson has a great sense of rock and roll, too, which helps lots in this almost-over-the-top confection. Schroeder, Regina

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 363 pages
  • Publisher: Pyr (October 31, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591025974
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591025979
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,342,333 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Justina was born in Yorkshire, England, in 1968. After completing school, she dropped out of Art College, then studied philosophy and linguistics at York University. She sold her first novel in 1999. Since then she has won the 2000 Amazon UK Writers' Bursary Award. She has also been a student (1992) and a teacher (2002, 2006) at the Arvon Foundation in the UK, a center for the development and promotion of all kinds of creative writing. She was a student at Clarion West, the U.S. boot camp for science fiction and fantasy writers, in 1996.

Her books have been variously shortlisted for the British Science Fiction Best Novel Award, the Arthur C. Clarke Award, the Philip K. Dick Award, and the John W. Campbell Award. An anthology of her short fiction, Heliotrope, was published in 2012. In 2004, Justina was a judge for the Arthur C. Clarke Award, on behalf of the Science Fiction Foundation.

Her novels and stories range widely over science fiction and fantasy, often in combination. She still lives in t'North of England with her partner and three children and a cat.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Abraham Douglas on November 27, 2007
Format: Paperback
Robson's second book in the Ultimate Gravity series fulfills some of the promise of the first book in the series, but also accentuates the first book's flaws. First, the good: Robson's description of the Demon world and her continued work flushing out the details of the various races in her universe is excellent. The Demons are particularly well crafted and the description of their life-cycle, from junior civil servants to stone statutes is both funny and a particularly great point of mass character development. The scene towards the beginning with Malichi and Zal playing cards is also particularly well imagined. Overall, Robson does a great job of continuing to develop her unique and interesting universe. However, where the first book got away with a scattered and not particularly well-articulated plot because of the uniqueness of the world that was introduced, in the second book, the failings of plot tend to overwhelm even Robson's particularly well-conceived setting. Robson's plot is massive and unwieldy for the amount of time she allots to it. She embarks upon multiple plots for multiple characters and then seems to run out of space and everything is wrapped up quickly enough to give the reader whiplash. Robson is clearly positioning herself for another book and the second books of series often seem like placeholders, but that does not excuse the ill-conceived pacing and fragmentation of this plot. A partial fix would have been to continue to focus on telling the story from the character that Robson seems to understand best, Lila Black, as opposed to splitting the story among multiple narrators. I still loved Demons, but I hope that Robson's next book matches the imagination of her setting with a well formed and thoughtful plot.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By ZhyeGoatt on December 10, 2007
Format: Paperback
If Amazon would let me I'd give this book a 4.5. The culture and descriptions of Demonia were great. Sometimes I felt that if I closed my eyes I'd be able to see Demonia perfectly. I really like that her cultures for each race are so different and that she didn't make the mistake of "humanizing" all her races like so many other authors. If it takes a sci-fi author to write some really great futuristic/urban fantasy I say please, please, please!

There's only two problems I can see anyone having with this book and the first isn't all that bad once you get used to it. Instead of just following Lila like in the first book we are following Lila, Zal, and Malichi and for most of the book they're all in different worlds which is a little more confusing than just changing characters. The bigger problem, to me anyway, is that there are a lot of loose ends and no real ending in this book. A few loose ends are to be expected in a series book, but I like there to be a clear ending to every book. Don't get me wrong, this isn't one of those cliffhanger endings either, but after stirring up that much trouble, solving hardly any of it, and then turning a few pages only to find the end was a letdown.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Karissa Eckert on December 15, 2009
Format: Paperback
This is the second book in the Quantum Gravity series by Justina Robson. I liked the first book really well, but I wasn't as impressed with this book. The plot was too hacked up, and the storylines that the different characters followed seemed unrelated. Despite that, the world is still really intriguing and the characters re-joined at the end of the book making me want to read more about them. I listened to this on audio book, and while the audio book was okay, it wasn't the greatest reading I've ever heard. The reader had trouble doing male voices without making them sound annoying.

Lila Black is sent to Demonia on a mission to find how Zal became part demon. Meanwhile Zal gets stuck in the elemental realm (after having words about Lila with Malichi over an odd game of cards) and spends time there trying to get out. Malichi journeys to the Interstitial realm to learn more about ghosts. Eventually they all end up back together, but how all this is related to the problem of the cracks in the six different worlds is all a mystery to me.

I had some trouble understanding what this book was getting at. Lila didn't do much in Demonia besides get into trouble and meet an imp; okay so she gets into *a lot* of trouble. Meanwhile Zal (who is on his way to meet her) ends up in the Elemental Realm and spends a lot of time there trying to get back out without dying. Zal's part was kind of boring and dreamy and really only had one important reason for happening as far as I could tell. Totally unrelated to all of this Malichi ends up in the in-between Interstitial space learning about ghosts. If all of this stuff sounds unrelated, well, it pretty much was.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By lb136 VINE VOICE on March 20, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Justina Robson's "Selling Out," the second in her Quantum Gravity series, sends human-cyborg special agent Lila Black back into action. This time her clueless leader, Cara Delaware, dispatches her on a mission to the land of Demonia where, as you might well suppose, Demons dwell, and where or so Delaware hopes, Lila will learn more about the origins of the half-elf, half-demon Zal, who Lila bodyguarded in the first book in the series, "Keeping it Real," which absolutely must be read first.

Although Delaware has not prepared her well for the mission, Lila nevertheless manages to thwart an assassination attempt or two, acquires her very own imp, and continues to have the spirit of the elf Tath dwelling within her. Oh, and she reconnects with her sister Maxine.

And where is Zal all this time? Off on a mission to save Lila, who, well, wait and see.

Don't expect it to make much in the way of sense (I'll tip my hat to you if you can figure out what the business with the ship and the ghost-hunters is all about), because with every book she writes it becomes increasingly clear that Ms. Robson inhabits a universe all her own (which is far from a bad thing), but if you relax and enjoy the ride, you should have a grand time.

And there's always Ms. Robson's sly prose to admire. Here, Zal samples a drink: "it seemed to be rum and Coke, and that was old enough as a cocktail to be a ghostly item. He breathed over the aromatic liquid and then hesitated, tired, euphoric, thirsty. "Can I drink this without turning into a ... thing? Or getting stuck here for eternity?"

" `Probably not,' the Ereba said."

Does that intrigue?
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