©2007 Greg Bear; (P)2007 BBC Audiobooks America
As usual, Greg Bear delivers a well written novel, full of interesting ideas and well rounded, intelligent characters (that you actually care about). Very good narration and pacing. I hope that Audible acquires some of Bear's other works such as Moving Mars and Forge of God.
Near future sci-fi stories are always tough because everything must remain eerily similar to today, but with just enough novelty to justify basing the novel a few years ahead. In this case, there's almost nothing to merit sci-fi except for some wild terrorist intent. The rest of the world has largely stayed mired firmly with 2010 science. The characters for the most part are unimaginative and in many cases quite stereotypically over the top. The FBI is largely incompetent, behind the curve, and racked by politcal infighting, but without any underlying driving forces. The international angle is largely irrelevant to most of the storyline.
Overall, it's a so-so story; the real mistake is the posted synopsis. The story never lives up to that buildup. One wonders if the synopsis was the original pitch for the book, Quantico (the title has little to do with the story, BTW) is what happened, and nobody went back to see if the story lived up to it's original outline.
I thoroughly enjoyed this fast-paced techno-thriller. Set in the near future, agents using conventional investigative techniques combined with innovative technology creat a great storyline.
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