Books : reviews

John Meaney.
To Hold Infinity.
Bantam. 1998

rating : 2.5 : great stuff
review : 15 January 2004

I usually like to start these reviews with a quick flavour of the plot, a bit like a back-jacket blurb. But this book doesn't stick in my mind for its plot. There is one -- it's a parallel story of a mother searching for her son on a high-tech foreign world, and of the son searching for a way out of the high-tech problems he's got himself into. But after reading it, I'm left with a picture of the very high-tech world, and not a lot else. The characters, although certainly well-drawn, are totally overshadowed by all the marvellous tech.

Despite the massive amount of world-building, there is hardly any info-dumping at all. We learn about the tech through the story. And there's oodles of it -- the upraised Luculenti with their built-in computers, the Pilots and their fractal vision, the femto-bio-tech, the smartatoms, all weaved into the plot with throw-away lines. This is how it should be done -- showing, not telling. Book like this are the reason I read SF.

Amazingly enough, this is a first novel. I'm not saying there are no problems -- there are a few guns on walls at the start that have failed to go off by the end, but mostly everything is under control. I hope Meaney's later novels can keep up this excellent standard.

John Meaney.
Destructor Function.
self. 2018

Call it the bleeding edge for real: the arena where cyber and physical threats collide. Case and Kat, and their IACS colleagues, operate in today’s new world of high-tech crime all terror.

When Case’s best friend commits sIIicide on his wedding-day, it seems unrelated to Case and Kat’s new investigation. But the idealistic suspects they hunt in Germany work in thrall to Russian organized crime, and even their Moscow bosses are blind to the real threat within.

And London will pay the price if Case and Kat fail to stop the enemy.

John Meaney.
Bone Song.
Bantam. 2007

John Meaney.
Dark Blood (== Black Blood) .
Bantam. 2008

John Meaney.
Trisopolis Requiem.
self. 2018

The cop: Donal Riordan, undead, imprisoned in a coffin below ground. The city: Tristopolis, gothamesque and baroque, its unchanging sky deep purple, its elevators propelled by indentured wraiths, and its power produced by necroflux reactors, fuelled by the bones of the dead.

When powerful conspiracies threaten Tristopolis from the far side of the world, can a freed Donal find a way to stop them, and in the process find a reason to carry on existing?

John Meaney.
Bantam. 2000

John Meaney.
Bantam. 2003

John Meaney.
Bantam. 2005

John Meaney.
Gollancz. 2010

John Meaney.
Gollancz. 2012

John Meaney.
Gollancz. 2012

Ragnarok is falling upon the universe. A conflict lasting thousands of years and spanning millions of light years comes to its shattering conclusion.

War is coming.

Only a few can see the darkness, and fewer still have the strength to resist it. Hidden at the centre of the Universe, the darkness spreads its tendrils throughout space and time.

For the darkness knows that when it makes its final invasion of our space, humanity will stand against it.

And in the far far futre, knowing that they are the last hope for the galaxy, the Ragnarok council is forming…