Long winded with very little resolution. No strong protagonists or antagonists. The phrase "we push ice, that's what we do" is supposed to resonate strongly with the reader. Heavy emphasis on tablet-like computers called "flexies" - people are always flicking out their flexies or charging their flexies or taking photos with their flexies. Unlikable, interchangeable characters.
Another one of those thrillers which takes an unlikely path to achieve a tortuous but entirely predictable twist in the plot. The characters are interchangeable and the plot is irrational.
I discovered Kage Baker looking for authors similar in style to Jack Vance. Can't say I detect the similarity.
As for the story. The narration is superb. Raouf has a great emptional range and her diction is clear and compelling.
The story itself is labored in places, but Baker raises some interesting points extremely well. Her premise (that immortals work amongst us mortals and that they too question the meaning of life) works well, but she gets a bit bogged down in romance and religious hysteria.
If you enjoy this book then I recommend Jill Payton Walsh's Knowledge of Angels.
There are elements of creativity in this story, but those are overwhelmed by the surrealism of the magic, which soon loses its mystery through overuse, and the author's obsession with crafting meaningless vignettes that do little to carry the story forward.
The prose was competent, but it was at the cost of pace. The book stumbles through time and an overwhelming clutter of pointless magic that hardly seems worth the effort.
The Night Circus reminds me of Lemony Snickett - something marketed way beyond any intrinsic merit.
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