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Mariposa Hardcover – November 10, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
It's an odd novel; more of a law enforcement agency thriller with bits of near-future sci-fi and I'm not entirely sure that this weird hybridisation is wholly successful. To it's credit, there are a lot of characters to keep track of, the plot is fairly complex and there is an even peppering of plausible sci-fi elements but the characters are all somewhat monolithic and the plot lacks pace & feels contrived. Totally America-centric with no defining atmosphere, the whole reading experience is sadly rather bland, unfulfilling and forgettable.
Not a truly dreadful novel but by no means Bear's greatest work.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is an important link in the Quantum Logic future history of Greg Bear. It is set in the near future; a rather dark future, which is, unfortunately, very well possible. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Martijn Moree
(First published at Goodreads by me)
Read Quantico again, to be in the mood for this, but this took one major turn in style, and was somehow not well edited, more like 2. Read more
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. Read morePublished on September 19, 2013 by Amazon Customer
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... Read morePublished on January 22, 2013 by John L. Miller
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... Read morePublished on June 2, 2012 by coyote
Greg Bear provides an interesting if somewhat depressing view into the near future with this sequel to Quantico. Read morePublished on February 25, 2011 by Neil G. Matthews
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... Read morePublished on January 9, 2011 by Shepard104
Lots of stuff happens off-stage. Liked the story a lot, but more detail and action could have greatly benefited the reader.Published on November 19, 2010 by John Bowes
I enjoyed this book because I like Greg Bear's writing and story telling style and this is one of his better recent efforts. Read morePublished on August 11, 2010 by AmazonBuyer175