When I explained the plot of this book to my husband and showed him the cover he said, “The book should be called Snakes on a Mainframe!”
That would be funnier. The book is a little darker than that title might lead people to believe. Or maybe not—I hesitate to admit it, but I’ve never seen Snakes on a Plane. Maybe a lot of people die?
A good book tells a story that keeps you turning pages. This does that with some super clever back-and-forth in time. As the book moves along, the main character grows and becomes funnier, too. Or more wry.
One of the things a good sci-fi book does is explore the future in a way that contributes to the collective consciousness of naked ape brains. (And perhaps the brains of cats inhabited by The One…you know some are possessed!) Sci-fi gets us ready for what may happen. Good sci-fi also let’s us talk about things that are happening now in a way that is more engaging.
This book does both of those things. An “Executive Class” rules a generation ship headed for a planet in the Goldilocks Zone of Charon. The Executives see themselves as better than the other classes in all ways. They live in splendor, while the “worms” and techs and others are banished to dark tunnels beneath the warm inner core of the ship. They are an incestuous lot, the Executives, and, despite their imagined superiority there is a lot they do not know…and a revolution brewing. The revolutionaries have copied the tactics of the Executive class, too, and those tactics are brutal.
The book did make me think a lot about how on Earth, we can always flee. On the generation ships of the future (I’m going to be optimistic here and believe we’ll have them) there will be nowhere to run.
I recommend this book for anyone who likes sci-fi, whether it is the Ursula LeGuinn sort, or more of the pew-pew sort. There is plenty of action and drama to carry the book along—although, I don’t think there were any pew-pews. Just tentacles.
I haven’t read it yet, but I have already gotten the sequel, Medusa in the Graveyard.