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The Fractal Prince (Jean le Flambeur) Hardcover – November 27, 2012
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If, after beginning this sequel to The Quantum Thief (2011), you find yourself wondering what the heck is going on here, don’t panic: Jean de Flambeur, the novel’s centerpiece, is wondering the same thing. Sprung (in the first novel) from a virtual prison by Mieli, a powerful woman who offers Jean his freedom in exchange for a service, he must return to his thieving ways and steal something for the pellegrini, a sort of godlike entity. But, even now, Jean still doesn’t know exactly why he was busted out of prison, or what, precisely, he’s stolen. He does know that, until he can pay off his debt to Mieli, he won’t be able to recover his lost memories. To repay his debt, he must safecrack a Schrödinger box and release the god that might or might not be trapped inside. Fans of the author’s popular debut novel, which mixed hard science with wild fantasy, will probably be lining up for this follow-up, which resolves some of the questions posed in The Quantum Thief but, on the other hand, asks several more, for which there are, as yet, no answers. --David Pitt
“Spectacularly and convincingly inventive, assured and wholly spellbdinding: one of the most impressive debuts in years.” ―Kirkus Reviews, starred review on The Quantum Thief
“A stellar debut.” ―Publishers Weekly, starred review on The Quantum Thief
“Outstanding... A storytelling skill rarely found from even the most experienced authors.” ―Library Journal, starred review on The Quantum Thief
“The best first SF novel I've read in years. Hard to admit, but I think he's better at this stuff than I am.” ―Charles Stross on The Quantum Thief
“Rajaniemi has spectacularly delivered on the promise that this is likely to be the most important SF novel we'll see this year.” ―Locus on The Quantum Thief
“Absolutely incredible… Endlessly inventive and compulsively readable. It's one of the best books of the year.” ―RT Book Reviews, Top Pick on The Quantum Thief
Top customer reviews
Imagining all this fancy quantum stuff is all well and good, but when the reader shouldn't have to imagine the plot and character development as well...that's the point of the book.
This is the first bad review I've ever written for a book...I usually slog on through and give the author the benefit of the doubt and figure others may understand it better than me. I did that for 80% of this book and then just gave up and was so disappointed that didn't want anyone else to waste the time like I did. It's unfortunate because I did enjoy his first book in this series and I have read some good short fiction of his, but in this one, the author let his plots and characters go quantum and when you really try to look at them, there's nothing there in the end...I don't plan on wasting time on the last one in the series.
It is a rich feast, but I downgraded it one star for each of these three reasons: discursive plotting, inconsistent application of his own imaginings of how the quantum world works, and overuse of unnecessary “jargonese.” This is old fashioned fantasy fables refashioned, blender style, with pseudoscientific explanations and more difficult to follow terminology than a political science lecture.
I was not going to read the second in the trilogy after similar reasons for discounting the first book. I will never know how it all ends in the third book - doubt that I would know even if I read the third book.
At least the Quantum Thief had a more traditional plot, but this story was much harder to care about. Things happened, and sometimes I wasn't sure what, and sometimes it just didn't make me care enough.
For full review: http://wp.me/p2XCwQ-17Z