Thursday, October 27, 2011

Equations of Life

Samuil Petrovich is a street smart Russian mathematical genius with an ugly past living in London twenty years after Armageddon (What I believe was a terrorist-initiated world-wide nuclear attack), who inadvertently gets caught in the middle of a war between Japanese and Russian mobsters. He even less advertently seems to kick off a new end of the world scenario brought to reality by something called the New Machine Jihad. His closest ally as hell and shrapnel rain down on all sides? A combat-trained amazonian nun in body armor.

I dare you not to read that.

I rarely pick up books these days without recommendations or at least knowing something about them, but I picked up Simon Morden's Equations of Life based solely on the back cover copy (so kudos to whoever wrote that). Even so, I expected to be disappointed because I'm a fussy reader and start a hell of a lot more books than I finish.

However, I could tell in the first chapter that I might be pleasantly surprised. Although the story opens in a near future slum that William Gibson would be comfortable writing about, Morden's writing is cool in a way that's different from the dense Gibsonian stuff that I love and am used to. I don't know exactly what he's doing but it feels fresh and I sure needed some fresh. There were one or two small slowdowns along the way, but otherwise the characters and action carried me to the end and a good conclusion that also leads into the next two books, Theories of Flight and Degrees of Freedom, which I now own and look forward to reading

These books all came out within three months of each other this year, which surprised me. I thought that maybe they'd been released more slowly in the UK and then brought out all at once here, but I don't think that's the case. This is a good thing, because as soon as you finish one, you can grab the next.

And I recommend you do so.

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