This book starts off VERY slow. I almost stopped reading it. Then it really picked up, and my patience was well-rewarded with an exciting hard scifi read.
There was a good story here. Original and well put together.
I'm not sure why I couldn't give it more stars. I thought it was an original, creative story. It was well put together. But I just didn't love it. But it was good enough for me to try another. I'll try another Vinge book in the future and see how I like that one.
Vernor Vinge's "Fire upon the Deep" was one of the first 'real' sf books I read when I was a young teen. Once I read it, I looked for everything VInge and devoured it. Unfortunately, Vinge doesn't publish too frequently, but when he does...ka-blam-oh!
"Rainbows End" is great sf. It's got good science, developed characters and an engaging story arc, plus there's a nicely veiled, implied reference to some of the AI stuff in "Neuromancer."
If you're into spy thrillers, espionage and plausible future tech, this will be a book for you.
My only beef is that I'm not a Pratchett reader, and there was a whole section that I feel would have been much more interesting had I been. Oh well, still a good read.
Eric Conger is a fine narrator, not fantastic, but he does his job well.
at several points I got lost in the techno jargon, the story is a little bit thin but it was still enjoyable, some interesting ideas about where the internet and gaming could end up in 20 years. I agree with another reviewer who said it would have made a great short story, but stretched into a novel it became a little light.
The story did introduce a few interesting concepts - especially the notion of a behavioral control attack that is based on a biological vector that is triggered with specific sensory input.
But the character development left me feeling uninspired. I found it hard to convince myself to really care about them or their outcomes in the story.
I loved "A Fire Upon the Deep", so I got this with great expectations. After slogging through about 2/3rds of the book, I ultimately just couldn't finish it. Frankly, I found it boring, and full of characters I didn't care about and situations I found either uninteresting or too implausible. Its presentation of the near-future world was somewhat interesting, but not enough to keep me going.
If the author had spent as much time developing the story line and the characters as he did describing the technology, this might have been a much better read for the average computer-literate person. It seemed to get more and more bogged down with techno-detail as the story got thinner and thinner, and before the end of part 1, I lost interest and stopped listening, sorry.
The setting and circumstances are intriguing. Vinge describes a believable, compelling, and fascinating world where a ubiquitous evolution of the Internet has reshaped human existence in the not-too-distant future. Particularly because of its role in education, this new technological medium has catapulted a generation of youth far beyond the capabilities and values of their parents.
As in other Vinge works, a broad, eclectic array of plot pieces are set into motion in order to arrive at a final climax. One moment you're reading about a miserable old poet who's been given a second chance on life, but must choose between his old talents and the brave new world. Then suddenly it's about children coming of age in a technological utopia. At one point it seemed to veer into a lecture on the merits of libertarian capitalism. For far too long it dwells on an unimportant sub-plot about teaching old dogs new technological tricks. And there's this grad student, desperate to find an original thesis. And then it's about a team of nostalgic rebels who fight against the violently rapid progress around them. Oh, and I almost forgot, there's a worldwide team of secret-agent anti-terrorist saviors who have been infiltrated and manipulated by a villain with a plan for world domination (except they drop that plot for such a long time that you forget if it was this book or another that you remember it from). And a husband-wife team of super military analysts. And a super-powerful AI screwing with all of them, just for fun. Oh, oh, and then there's a huge Pokemon battle! And some Bollywood executives, and some sort of worldwide technological catastrophe. No, I'm *not* making this up!
While it was never completely ridiculous, it was nevertheless frustrating to be constantly wondering, even well into the final 1/3 of the book, what the heck the main story was supposed to be, and how it all fit together. It does come together loosely, but then rushes into resolution and epilogue.
Not his best work - I don't think it hangs together well. I almost gave up, but struggled through in the end. It did make me want to reread "Deepness in the Sky" though (I only have this as a dead-tree - would like the audiobook).