Thursday, February 13, 2014

Neptune’s Brood (Freyaversee #2) by Charles Stross

Science Fiction/Space Opera

From Goodread:

"Krina Alizond is a metahuman in a universe where the last natural humans became extinct five thousand years ago. When her sister goes missing she embarks on a daring voyage across the star systems to find her, travelling to her last known location - the mysterious water-world of Shin-Tethys.

In a universe with no faster-than-light travel that's a dangerous journey, made all the more perilous by the arrival of an assassin on Krina's tail, by the 'privateers' chasing her sister's life insurance policy and by growing signs that the disappearance is linked to one of the biggest financial scams in the known universe.

This is set in the same universe as Saturn's Children, 5000 years later."

I read Saturn’s Children and had mixed feelings about it so I approached Neptune’s Brood with caution.  After listening to the audio book I can say with conviction this is one of the best Science Fiction books I have listened to recently.

Stross has always been very inventive but he outdid himself with Neptune’s Brood.  For a start the humans of today are know as the fragile.  They have gone extinct and been brought back several times but they are just not made for space travel.  Instead the world is populated with metahumans.  They consider themselves our direct descendants and they do resemble us in some ways.  They have some of our biological functions but change their body types, slow their metabolism, and live much longer.  They are created not born but still come into the world as children.

But the metahumans are just part of the story.  It is the plot that kept me riveted to the story.  What seems very simple at first keep getting more and more complex.  To support the story Stross had to create an intricate world and the back-story to support the world and the plot.  Krina Alizond tells the story in the first person.  When needed she gives a little history lesson that explains the past and sets up the future.  It is a nice way to impart facts and works like a charm.  Everything in the plot went back to money and the various kinds in a world where it takes years to go from one star system to another.

Neptune's Brood is a mystery and it kept me in the dark until the very end.  Look for surprises, great world building, wonderful characters and a future that might be possible.  However, it would not be a future with humans as we know them.

Recorded Books produced the audio of Neptune’s Brood by Charles Stross.

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