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Mariposa Paperback – November 10, 2009
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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.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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
Top customer reviews
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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.
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.
I guess there is space between Mariposa and Queen of Angels for another book, because the story doesn't seem to be told completely yet.
Greg Bear's characters are all interesting, even the "evil" players
Most recent customer reviews
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