Jean le Flambeur is out of prison, but still not free. To pay his debts he has to break into the mind of a living god. But when the stakes are revealed, Jean has to decide how far he is willing to go to get the job done.
The sequel to Hannu Rajaniemi's extraordinary debut novel is set to build on the extravagant promise of one of the most exciting new voices to come out of the genre this century.
Rajaniemi's fun if sometimes torturously convoluted follow-up to 2011's The Quantum Thief returns to the adventures of Jean le Flambeur, posthuman master thief, still unable to remember much of his past and now forced to work for space captain Mieli and her goddess/debtor Jos phine Pellegrini. On Earth, meanwhile, Tawaddud Gomelez schemes to advance her powerful father's political fortunes and put behind her a blemished past that includes a dalliance with a jinni. Rajaniemi plays with Arabian Nights references, from a character named Dunyazad, after Scheherazade's sister, to multilayered storytelling, but these elements never quite work alongside the hard postsingularity SF of Jean's story. The plot can get muddled as a result, but Rajaniemi's witty language ("On the day the Hunter comes for me, I am killing ghost cats from the Schr dinger Box") and charmingly wry hero will make the read well worth the effort for the first installment's fans.