A disclaimer to this review would be that when I picked this book up I was in the mood for a quick, easy read.
This book is not that.
It is interesting, inventive, and somewhat prescient, but it is really difficult to follow. The difficulty has as much to do with Gibson’s bombardment of strange techno-jargon as it does with his obfuscating style, but the result is the same: by the end I had little idea what was going on, or why.
I think I could have figured it out had I read more carefully, or gone back to key passages and spent the time to decipher them. In fact I did this successfully during one particularly confusing episode. But I was not in the mood to do that the majority of the time. I also didn’t care enough about what I thought was going to be a fun sci-fi story, especially when Gibson began to introduce all of these abstract concepts about the AI’s personality and the ROM (or what is RAM?) and immortality and blah-blah-blah. While it is sci-fi, and it is a story, it’s not that fun (excepting Maelcum and Dix).
Normally, this book would earn two stars for the amount I enjoyed it. But I have to admit that much of the fault is my own. I can also recognize a really talented author writing a very intelligent story. (Too intelligent for me, obviously.) I also love the mood Gibson creates, a sort of sinister, neo-Wild West hellscape. I just wish it wasn’t so damn difficult to comprehend.