There is no such place as Krassnia. Lucy Stone should know—she was born there. In that tiny, troubled region of the former Soviet Union, revolution is brewing. Its organizers need a safe place to meet, and where better than the virtual spaces of an online game? Lucy, who works for a start-up games company in Edinburgh, has a project that almost seems made for the job: a game inspired by The Krassniad, an epic folk tale concocted by Lucy’s mother, Amanda, who studied there in the 1980s. Lucy knows Amanda is a spook. She knows her great-grandmother Eugenie also visited the country in the 1930s and met the man who originally collected Krassnian folklore, and who perished in Stalin’s terror. As Lucy digs up details about her birthplace to slot into the game, she finds the open secrets of her family’s past, the darker secrets of Krassnia’s past—and hints about the crucial role she is destined to play in The Restoration Game. Combining international intrigue with cutting-edge philosophical speculation, romance with adventure, and online gaming with real-life consequences, this book delivers as science fiction and as a sharp take on our present world from the viewpoint of a complex, engaging heroine who has to fight her way through a maze of political and family manipulation to take control of her own life. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Brewing revolution in a small corner of the former U.S.S.R. pulls a writer for a Scottish gaming startup into a complex game of international intrigue. Lucy Stone, whose family has been involved with the tiny ethnic enclave of Krassnia since the 1930s, is asked by her CIA-employed mother to create a version of her company's massively multiplayer role-playing game, using Krassnia as background, so the country's revolutionaries can organize secretly. Lucy is intrigued by old tales of a mystery on a Krassnian mountain whose power baffled the Soviets for decades and now has drawn the attention of an international array of conspirators. MacLeod (The Execution Channel) packs his latest with such density of ideas and detail that the plot moves slowly, and foreshadows so heavily that his tale's eventual climax is undermined, but fans of his intellectually challenging mix of political and economic philosophy, history, and espionage will find much to enjoy.