Review of Crashing Heaven

August 19, 2015 Reviews 0 ★★★★

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, profanity, and/or violence.
Review of Crashing HeavenCrashing Heaven by Al Robertson
Published by Audible Studios on June 18th 2015
Length: 12:38
Genres: Science Fiction
Pages: 368
Format: Audiobook
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four-stars

A diamond-hard, visionary new SF thriller. Nailed-down cyberpunk ala William Gibson for the 21st century meets the vivid dark futures of Al Reynolds in this extraordinary debut novel.
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. But with Fist's software licence about to expire, taking Jack's life with it, can they bring down the real traitors before their time runs out?

Crashing Heaven is kind of a future sci fi dystopia in which humanity lives solely in a space station after Earth is decimated. The station is ruled over by the Pantheon, AIs who exist in the virtual reality overlay called the Weave. Also out there are other AIs called the Totality.  Jack was installed with a symbiotic “puppet” called Fist who was designed to fight the Totality. Only Jack surrended to them instead after discovering the war was unjust. When he returns to Station, he gets involved in a murder investigation that ultimately leads to him trying to discover which Pantheon God was responsible.

Ultimately the world is very, very imaginative and the story was very compelling. I didn’t fully know what was going on most of the time though, so it could have helped to have a little more backstory and explanation. It took me a long while before I understood exactly what this puppet was, what the Weave was, what the Pantheon was, etc. The interplay between Jack and Fist was really fun and it was quite satisfying to see their relationship (and Fist’s personality) evolve and grow through the novel.

The narrator did a fine job with all the voices and the reading, and his British accent added some charm to the reading.

The only thing I wasn’t overly enthusiastic about (other than the confusing nature of a lot of the concepts) was the profanity. It’s pretty much in every other sentence. It is amazing that centuries from now, people would be using the exact same profanity as today. Hmm.

Anyways, it was a fun listen and the story wrapped up in a nice, satisfying way. There were lots of heavy themes explored (what it means to die, how humans differ from AIs, how the digital world compares to the physical, etc.) and that was enlightening and interesting. And it was never really boring, which is a plus.

four-stars
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