Mappa Mundi

 

Really enjoyed the story as a whole. It opens with a series of vignettes, “Legends,” mostly set in the childhood of various characters. One of the games I played as I read was figuring out which character had had a legend (this shouldn’t have been very hard, given they are all named… but I have a poor memory and I read too fast, so you know. It worked for me). This was a really cool technique. However, the characters are not a strong point – more to the point, I think the female characters are not a strong point. Some of the men weren’t great either, but more of them were interesting and appealing and relate-able than women, for me.

 

The story as a whole is a compelling one, dealing as it does with mind-mapping and (potentially) -controlling technology. The world is a very near-future one – even closer than when Robson wrote it, actually, since some of the technology she throws in that in 2001 may have seemed quite ‘tomorrow’ is already here! Most of the story flows nicely, with only a few only-for-the-narrative moments, none of which were tooo jarring. It’s well-paced, and the shifting between characters works nicely to build tension and provide juxtaposition.

This review was written ages ago and I meant to add more, and then… time went on… and now of course I have forgotten what I was going to say. I was also going to link to Dreams and Speculation, the blog that hosted the 2011 Women in SF Book Club until it folded a couple of months ago, but the blog itself seems to have disappeared – which is sad, because we had a really interesting discussion on various aspects of this novel. 

4 responses

  1. Shara @ Calico Reaction | Reply

    Looks like we had slightly opposite reactions of this book! I read this quite a while ago, though, and not for the D&S book club. I would like to re-read it one day though, as it’s one of my favorites. 🙂

    1. Oh I did enjoy it! And of her books – admittedly I’ve only read a couple – it is probably my favourite. I thoroughly enjoyed the plot, although there was a bit of hand-waving towards the end that made me roll my eyes.

      1. Shara @ Calico Reaction | Reply

        I only vaguely remember the ending in terms of plot details. There’s things about it I remember well, but I can’t remember what my reaction to the whole thing was at the time! 🙂

        But I’m like you, of everything of hers I’ve read, it’s my favorite. Though her Quantum Gravity series is fun (I’ve only read the first two so far).

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