Crashing Heaven by Al Robertson

Crashing Heaven by Al RobertsonRating: 3 / 5 stars
Format: ebook
Published: 18th June 2015
Book Depository | Goodreads

With Earth abandoned, humanity resides on Station, an industrialised asteroid run by the sentient corporations of the Pantheon. Under their leadership a war has been raging against the Totality – ex-Pantheon AIs gone rogue.

With the war over, Jack Forster and his sidekick Hugo Fist, a virtual puppet tied to Jack’s mind and created to destroy the Totality, have returned home.

Labelled a traitor for surrendering to the Totality, all Jack wants is to clear his name but when he discovers two old friends have died under suspicious circumstances he also wants answers. Soon he and Fist are embroiled in a conspiracy that threatens not only their future but all of humanity’s.

This was okay. A reasonably good science fiction book. The problem I had with this, and other books like it who have some sort of futuristic version of the internet. Is that the authors never really fully explain how it works. I mean authors will describe it as some sort of virtual reality, maybe mention spam bots or anti-virus or something like that. But they never fully explain how it works. I would like that little bit of computer science in there to understand whats going on. But I don’t know, that might just be me being a computer nerd.

I also didn’t like the description of the space station. We are told that the station is on an asteroid, but I could never work out if it looked like the ship in that whale episode of Doctor Who or if it looked like the Citadel in Mass Effect. I couldn’t properly visualize the station and that annoyed me.

The fact that the station was being run by gods was annoying too. We are told what the gods do to keep the place running, but we are never told why there are a bunch of gods running the station. I don’t even think these gods were people, from what I could tell they were just lines of code.

But yes, this wasn’t great. Could be much better. If you liked Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Thomas Sweterlitsch you might want to give this a read. Otherwise I wouldn’t recommend it.

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*I received a copy of this book from Gollancz in exchange for an honest review.


9 thoughts on “Crashing Heaven by Al Robertson

  1. I love this review. Your opening really piqued my interest in the book and gave no hint of the criticisms to come. And I really like your criticism. I think the same way. Even though I haven’t read the book I feel like I know what you mean.

    Thanks for popping by my blog.

  2. Hmm…there was a series by Tad Williams that dealt with full-sensory immersion in the internet…and he did a lot of work to explain how that functioned with the flesh-and-blood characters vs. their online avatars. More work than, say, Neal Stevenson in Snow Crash, which is kind of weird because Stevenson’s supposed to be this great sci-fi writer, but Williams isn’t too well known at all. Both books were pretty enjoyable though, I thought.

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