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Merciless Reason Paperback – International Edition, March 1, 2012
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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“Look out world, Nate Wildenstern is back. [He] revs up for a return to the old country that will clash more heavy metal than the loudest rock ’n roll.” —Inis magazine
About the Author
Born in Dublin in 1973, Oisin spent his childhood there and in Drogheda, County Louth. Unable to conceive of a way to make a living from writing fiction, he decided to fund his dreams of being an author by working as an illustrator (yes, he was that naive).Setting up as a freelance illustrator/artist, he then took up a position at Fred Wolf Films, working on the animated series of Zorro. After completing his contract, he decided to expand his horizons and left for London to seek his fortune. Following three and a half years of working in advertising he became increasingly concerned for his immortal soul. He returned to Ireland much as he had left - with no job, no home and some meagre savings. Ever the optimist, he now works once more as a freelance illustrator and mercenary artist by day and escapist writer by night. He hopes one day to have a decent job, with a pension, a health plan and paid annual holidays.
Top customer reviews
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A very interesting world, but I felt that Ancient Appetites was the best of the three books (so far, the author might do another), as it was the most mysterious.
I do want to say that I love reading YA novels and this series has been great. I have loved everything about it and it has drawn me in with each page. The characters are very nicely written and you grow to really think of them as being real people. It's just a great book and I can't wait to read more by this author.
In an exciting prologue, the crew of a whaling boat off the coast of New England is battling an enormous leviathan of the deep, among the largest enigmals ever seen. Enigmals are living machines, found in the wild, but defying all attempts to explain their origins and how they operate; they also seem to be imbued with intelligent particles. The prologue reads like a mash-up of two Victorian-period novels - Moby Dick and Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea (later in the book, the mouth of a similar leviathan is referred to as “Moby,” just to drive the allusion home.)
The energy developed by the prologue diminishes somewhat, but the tension and suspense increase as Nate prepares a return to his murderous family, which only allows ascension in its ranks through assassination of higher ranking family members (extra-long lives have a dark side!) and to face the mad genius that he once tried to kill - Gerald, who, it seems, has become extraordinarily powerful through his growing ability to manipulate intelligent particles. The energy returns in full measure in a tense, rousing, action-filled climax.
The main tropes of steampunk - science, technology, mathematics and the joy of researching and inventing in the Victorian Age - are emphasized less than they were in the first two novels in the series. Instead, the focus shifts toward a more modern problem - fear of the machines, of the possible unintended consequences of scientific research. There is much palaver and hand-wringing in today's blogs and in the popular press over the potential for AI to take over, to cost people their jobs and livelihood, maybe even to kill without feeling, based only on the logic of a strange (the unknowable, dangerous other) artificial intelligence. Gerald is the personification of this danger and he has already, in previous volumes, shown himself to be cruel and merciless, guided only by what he says is pure reason.
Allusions to Victoriana are rife throughout Merciless Reason. Character types and situations from stories by Charles Dickens, Mary Shelley, Robert Louis Stevenson, Arthur Conan Doyle, Herman Melville, H. G. Wells and Jules Verne, as well as tropes from Victorian theater and popular themes from penny dreadfuls all play a very large role in the series. Identifying these as they occur is one of the fun parts of the novel! The humor is infrequent and understated but always elicits a chuckle. However, the action, the adventure is the mainstay of the story and it is not understated. It is violent, pounding, and totally satisfying. I whole-heartedly recommend the entire series for its skill in immersing the reader in the Victorian culture, with its fashion and mores, its fears and concerns, while at the same time evoking a thrilling science fiction adventure!
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
It was a ripping yarn, Victoriana but not a full blown Steampunk novel.
The story held my attention but was sometimes a little predictable, but everything was brought to a satisfactory conclusion by the end.
Nate, our hero makes his way back to Ireland to put a stop to the evil doings of his cousin, who seems to have lost the plot and gone off the deep end. Nate returns in secret and there are other characters who are working towards ending all this too.
Good fun but not the greatest read.
I received an advance uncorrected book and there were quite a few print errors needing corrections.
Most recent customer reviews
They always say that good things must come to an end. However, I can't believe that the Wildenstern Saga has truly come to a conclusion!Read more
Nathaniel Wildenstern is the primary protagonist again in this book. The previous book he took his leave from the family.Read more