I enjoyed it, but I didn’t really understand it.
I’m sure I should have more to say about it than that, but really, that sums it up quite neatly.
But to try to go a bit deeper… The solar system is populated by various species or clans of posthumans, transhumans, AIs, uploaded minds, whatever. Earth is unrecognisable, though some people — seemingly fairly close to basic-human, though it’s hard to judge, with so many strangenesses — still live there.
In some ways the biggest problems with this book, and its predecessor The Quantum Thief, which I read a few years ago, is the sheer number of new or repurposed words. None of these is ever explained: you have to gain an understanding of them from context, working it out as you go along. This is a perfectly fine and valid method of storytelling, but here it all just gets a bit too much.
Maybe it’s my fault for the way I read the book: in disjointed fragments and sections, over weeks. Perhaps if I had read it in a more concentrated fashion, its meanings would have unwrapped themselves for me more easily, more thoroughly.
But at the same time, it’s the storyteller’s job to tell their story in a way that allows the reader to grasp it, to understand it. If he reader has difficulty with that, then it’s not the _reader’s_ fault. It’s the storyteller’s.
And yet, and yet, I enjoyed it, I finished it, I think i’l probably read the third in the trilogy, which I believe is a thing. Eventually, after some time has passed on this one,
And I’ll probably have just as much trouble with that one when the time comes.