Too Like the Lightning: Book One of Terra Ignota

433 pages

Published May 10, 2016 by Tor Books.

ISBN:
9781466858749

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4 stars (13 reviews)

"The world into which Mycroft and Carlyle have been born is as strange to our 21st-century eyes as ours would be to a native of the 1500s. It is a hard-won utopia built on technologically-generated abundance, and also on complex and mandatory systems of labeling all public writing and speech... And in this world, Mycroft and Carlyle have stumbled on the wild card that may destabilize the system: the boy Bridger, who can effortlessly make his wishes come true. Who can, it would seem, bring inanimate objects to life..."--Book jacket.

12 editions

Review of 'Too like the lightning' on 'LibraryThing'

2 stars

Starts out packed with interesting ideas, gradually devolves into the author's Enlightment fantasy (super Eurocentric with a tokenistic Japanese presence) and by the end veers completely off the rails into a Renaissance-francophile sexual fantasy. I'm not sure why I read to the end.

Review of 'Too like the lightning' on 'GoodReads'

4 stars

18th century writing style is a good match for the plot. It's 25th century, there are seven different quasi-states, but they are ruled by disgusting lustful self-righteous hypocritical pricks akin to medieval absolute monarchs, which all happen to be members of their joint secret club.

The narrator is one well-connected person, employed by all the rulers, and even more abhorrent than them, and it's not just because of what's uncovered about narrator's past in the middle of the book; narrator, as a character, was revolting from the first pages. The book covers their quest to uncover certain mysteries in attempt to prevent a war caused by rulers' unimaginable unsuitability for their respective ruling positions. On that quest narrator interacts with some other characters, all of the elite; common people's lives are of no concern there.

Still, one can catch some glimpses of the actual society; and that's the society that …

Review of 'Too Like the Lightning' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

I read this book, then took a few weeks away to finish reading the rest of the Hugo nominees in the shorter fiction categories, then came back to read this again. While I enjoyed the book the first time, I was quite overwhelmed trying to learn the world and who all the players were. On this second reading I was able to concentrate more on the story and a lot of details I missed the first time through. I raised my review to 5 stars after this second read for several reasons, but primarily because I was staring in awe at the massive and vivid world that Palmer has created.

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