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The Causal Angel | [Hannu Rajaniemi]

The Causal Angel

Rajaniemi's future is one in which quantum effects can be manipulated by the powerful to unknowable ends; an era in which some are gods and billions of others are enslaved for the processing power of their brains; where in the inner Solar System, the once-human Sobornost endlessly iterate themselves in vast, planet-sized guberniyas, while casually running experiments on the photosphere of the sun. In this world, Jean le Flambeur has broken out of a virtual prison and, later, into the mind of a living god.
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Publisher's Summary

With his infectious love of storytelling in all its forms, his rich characterization, and his unrivalled grasp of cutting-edge science, Hannu Rajaniemi has swiftly set a new benchmark for science fiction in the twenty-first century. Rajaniemi's future is one in which quantum effects can be manipulated by the powerful to unknowable ends; an era in which some are gods and billions of others are enslaved for the processing power of their brains; where in the inner Solar System, the once-human Sobornost endlessly iterate themselves in vast, planet-sized guberniyas, while casually running experiments on the photosphere of the sun.

In this world, Jean le Flambeur has broken out of a virtual prison and, later, into the mind of a living god. Now his one-time rescuer, the warrior Mieli, is a prisoner herself. To get her back, Jean will need tools: A quantum pyramid scheme, a pair of physical bodies, a nugget of computronium, a bunch of entangled EPR pairs, and a few very special hydrogen bombs. Jean le Flambeur, gentleman adventurer, is back. The solar system will tremble from one end to the other before he's done.

©2014 Hannu Rajaniemi (P)2014 Tantor

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (49 )
5 star
 (23)
4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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4.5 (47 )
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3 star
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Story
3.6 (47 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Zac Knoxville,Tn 07-16-14
    Zac Knoxville,Tn 07-16-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Why switch narrators on the last book in a trilogy"
    Would you try another book from Hannu Rajaniemi and/or Roger Wayne?

    Hannu, yes. Roger Wayne, No.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Causal Angel?

    When I realized that the narrator didn't know how to pronounce most of the names that are unique to this series.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    There's no way Wayne listened to the previous books because he pronounced most stuff differently. Scheduling issues or whatever, changing narrators on the last book in a trilogy is ridiculous.


    What character would you cut from The Causal Angel?

    Roger Wayne.


    Any additional comments?

    This really needs to be redone with Brick back as narrator. I mean, seriously, Wayne pronounces the names of basically all the main characters different. So disappointed by this.

    12 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul 07-17-14
    Paul 07-17-14 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Poor Narrator"

    Anyone who listened to first two books should avoid this book. The new narrator pronounces many many things differently. You can tell he didn't bother to listen to the first two books, at all. Also, he gives voice to characters that do not match the character. For example, he gives the YOUNG detective Isadore, the voice of a decrepit old man. Again, you can tell he had no idea what has come before.

    This is always a disappointment (the new narrator in Richard Morgan's third book, Woken Furies, pronounced the name of the main character in a way the first specifically said was wrong.)

    Poor poor choice.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Syneater 07-20-14
    Syneater 07-20-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    5
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    "Why switch narrators"

    The narration was absolutely horrible, couldn't make it past 22 minutes. I purchased the Kindle version and read that so Roger Wayne's horrible reading wouldn't ruin the entire trilogy for me. As Zac & Paul mentioned, Wayne clearly didn't listen to the previous books and I would guess the producer didn't bother as well. Wayne murdered every unique name/word he came across. I will admit I started the book with a slight bias (I am a fan of Scott Brick as a narrator) but I didn't expect a to hear a horrible impression of a dramatic reading.

    I hope they redo the audio version with Scott Brick as the narrator, as I really enjoyed the story (in fact, I didn't want it to end).

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nou Midlothian, TX, United States 07-30-14
    Nou Midlothian, TX, United States 07-30-14 Member Since 2015

    As much as I love music, I'd rather listen to a book. I love being taken far far away while doing everything.

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    "OMG! pain to listen"
    Any additional comments?

    It took me TWO weeks to listen to a 10 hour book! Like everyone else. I’ve been waiting for a long time for this book to come out and it was a pain to listen to the new narrator. Love the book though. The story actual closed and explained a lot of questions I had and confirmed some theories.

    If you want a good smooth listen, don’t get this book. The narrator’s voice was okay to listen to but his expressions and readings were VERY robotic. It felt like I had called for some service and was listening to the automated call center machine.

    Maybe the publisher’s changed narrators because Brick didn’t want to do it anymore, fine… but the new guy should have done some research and, I don’t know, listen to at least one of the previous books to get a flow of the characters and the story. Kinda get an idea of what the customers have been listening to. Then make it better. I found myself yelling at the narrator about pronunciations of names, places, and items because it felt wrong the way the narrator read.

    In summary…great ending, awful narration. Just buy the hard copy and read it yourself.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeremy P. Hamilton Dallas TX 07-24-14
    Jeremy P. Hamilton Dallas TX 07-24-14 Member Since 2011
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    "God damn, I wish there was more sci-fi like this."

    It's hard to find sci-fi that combines relentless imagination with both a serious understanding of science and a genuine sense of fun. Hannu Rajaniemi's post-singularity adventure trilogy does that admirably. This third entry focuses heavily on the Zoku- a culture with a singular interest in modern trends that stretches credibility a bit, but that's nevertheless vividly imagined and endlessly entertaining to hear about. The novel wraps up the the story of Mieli and Jean le Flambeur nicely, though in a way that might unfortunately preclude a fourth book. Hopefully, Rajaniemi will return to this setting in future books anyway.

    Having read the other two novels in the series as e-books, I can't comment on how this narrator compares to the previous one, though I can say that his narration seemed perfectly fine on it's own merits. The voices never grated, the pronunciations were more or less as I'd imagined them from the ebooks, and the overall tone seemed to fit the story. If you're considering this audiobook after having read the other novels in print or e-book format, don't let the other negative reviews dissuade you.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 08-26-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Oh Audible, why did you switch narrators?!"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I absolutely love this book series. I'm a huge fan of physics, and any sci-fi that follows the vein of quantum tomfoolery is high on my reading list. This is not a review of the book, the author, or the series. This rating is solely based on the terrible narration by Roger Wayne. Those that didn't listen to the first two books might find joy in this one, but I warn you: If you listened to Scott Brick's excellent renditions of the first two novels you will not enjoy this audiobook.


    What other book might you compare The Causal Angel to and why?

    Light, by M. John Harrison.


    What didn’t you like about Roger Wayne’s performance?

    I could forgive the robotic narration (his pacing is terribly inconsistent) even if the random breaks in speech tore me out of the story. I could even forgive his initial hesitance when trying to pronounce the author's name. However, I cannot forgive the mispronunciation of main character names. The voices do not fit the characters. There's no subtlety to the performance. I'll admit, I only made a little ways into the story. That's how hard it was to even give this new narrator a chance. At first, I told myself, he wasn't that bad. Then he chewed through several big names in the series and I couldn't handle it anymore.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment.


    Any additional comments?

    Please bring back Scott Brick and have him narrate the last book in the series. His narration of The Quantum Thief and Fractal Prince are what made me love Audiobooks. I'd really like to finish this series with him at the helm.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    marina 08-13-14
    marina 08-13-14
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    "Great book, bad narration"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Tried it for a couple of hours and found the reader poor. Poor pronunciation of specialized terms, robotic delivery, character voices indistinguishable. Only gets three stars due to the great story.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Roger Wayne?

    Scott Brick was pretty good on the Quantum Thief.


    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R. Musser 02-08-15
    R. Musser 02-08-15 Member Since 2004
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    "Roger Wayne is not Antichrist!"
    What made the experience of listening to The Causal Angel the most enjoyable?

    Hearing this interesting and many-layered story through to its conclusion. I'm sure I'll be listening to it again, since the concepts, societies and characters are all too much to fully absorb the first time through.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I don't really have a single favorite. All the characters, even minor ones, have so much depth and so many layers (not even counting their gogols!).


    What three words best describe Roger Wayne’s performance?

    Perfectly adequate narration.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, best to take time to absorb all the detail in chapter-sized chunks. Even at that pace, I know I missed a lot.


    Any additional comments?

    It's always disappointing and off-putting when publishers change narrators in mid-stream. Did I prefer Scott Brick's narration over Roger Wayne? Certainly, but don't let the change in narrators put you off finishing the story. If Wayne had been narrating from the beginning, I think I'd only give him one star less than Brick.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joe Frazier Cary, NC USA 05-26-15
    Joe Frazier Cary, NC USA 05-26-15 Member Since 2014

    a dedicated dilettante

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Epic Conclusion marred by switch in narrators"

    Hannu Rajaniemi’s brings an epic conclusion to the Jean Le Flambeur series in The Causal Angel. He continues to build out his SciFi fueled world in which gentlemen thieves go hand-in-hand with Oortian warriors saving a universe that is on the brink of annihilation at the hand of the All-Defector. While I focused on the complaint of a dearth of explanation for terms introduced in the review of The Fractal Prince (mainly because Adam Robert’s review was so well-written (even when we didn’t fully draw the same conclusions) that I couldn’t bring myself to write a full review. In my review of The Causal Angel, I’ll focus on Mr. Rajaniemi’s detailed, precise and visceral descriptions that help mitigate a need for explanatory passages. In others, I continue my argument from The Fractal Prince focusing on the context of the terms introduced as a viable way to provide much of their meaning. Most of the reasons by I love The Quantum Thief apply here I’ll do this mostly to celebrate well-honed writing.

    Please don’t read this review (or the book) if you haven’t already read The Quantum Thief and The Fractal Prince. While there are no spoilers for those that have, there may be some for those that haven’t. Read them in order, you’ll be lost if you don’t.

    One of the hallmarks of good writing is that we don’t simply learn about the world of the story, we inhabit it. We see the rolling grasslands of Rohan as we feel the wind from the White Mountains tousle our hair. We ride the waves in the HMS Surprise as we smell the salt tang in the air. We are swept away in the hustle and bustle of the streets of London as the Artful Dodger weaves around another set of legs to reach in another pocket. The books by Messrs. Tolkien, O’Brian and Dickens all are examples of following Anton Chekhov famous writing advice: “Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.” We see this as well in The Causal Angel. A brief example of a place description is in an introduction to the Gun Club Zoku headquarters: “We drink dark tea in the mahogany-panelled drawing room of the Gun Club Zoku’s copper-and-brass sky-train. It rides smoothly along the bright golden curve of the Club’s orbital ring around Iapetus, fast enough to create a cosy half a g of artificial gravity. Our view of the Saturnian moon’s surface through the large, circular viewports is spectacular. We are above the Cassini Regio, a reddish-brown birthmark that stains the white of the icy surface.” While this passage doesn’t provide enough for you to know about Zokus, let alone a Gun Club Zuko, it does provide a picture of where they gather: a bit of old-world and steampunk.

    I often go between the Audible version and Kindle version of books (using Whispersync for Voice to keep, well, in sync). I did little of that this time. While I own the Audible version, I was disappointed that the publishers switched from the narrator of the first two books in the series, the fabulous Scott Brick, to Roger Wayne. This isn’t a particular hit on Mr. Wayne, but rather a disappointment that the nuanced voice and pronunciations that I came to know and love from one of my favorite narrators was no longer available in the third book. This motivated me to write a plea to publishers to avoid this whenever practicable. Listening to this different voice was too distracting, so I stuck with the Kindle version. Hence, I don’t have much to say about Mr. Wayne’s narration. The 2 stars for performance is due to the publishers changing horses on us two-thirds down the stream.

    For full review, see: wp.me/p2XCwQ-19a

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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