Monday, 15 June 2015

Book Review - Black Hole Butterfly by Salem

One of the reasons I enjoy science fiction so much is that at its very best it tackles big questions and in this book it dives into one of the greats in a battle for control of reality itself. This provides a grand backdrop for the story but also the mechanism for how the plot evolves.

The book has a bit of a tech noir feel to it with advanced technology fitting into an almost familiar narrative (to start with anyway) for a lone detective. This early feel is important as it dips you into what turns out to be a very strange world.

The quantum nature of the reality of the worlds in which the story lives are both a superb part of the story, but also it's one real weakness. It can be tricky read to follow what's going on in places and more than once I had to re-read a section to make sure I understood it correctly. I don't mind being made to work at a book, but it could put some readers off. However that is more than adequately compensated by the splendour of the worlds and the interesting connections and contrasts it provides.

The characters are also interesting and provide useful signposts in the different realities. As with the worlds themselves they aren't necessarily what they seem and the mystery builds until the end. I'm usually pretty food at predicting endings, but this one kept me guessing all the way through.

So this book has shot straight into my favourite reads for this year so far. It's just the sort of esoteric sci-fi that I love. It's well written, with developed characters and good pacing. It delves into some fascinating technology and plays with some cool concepts in an imaginative way. Highly recommended.

Click on image to buy from Amazon

Detective Rook Black is having a tough time solving crime in a New York City where reality is traded on the black market by the mysterious quantum butcher, Jack the Butterfly. While following an assassin's trail through Chinatown, space and time begin to overwrite. A reality storm lashes Manhattan. Overnight, crocodile wrestling becomes a deadly sport, synthetic sex with Egyptian gods is the norm, and the reigning solar power Empire believes Shakespeare authors their universe.They believe if his works are destroyed, the universe will end. The Empire will do anything to protect his legacy, but their enemy, Gasland, wants to annihilate it. It is the beginning of a reality war. When the sky rains ink and paper turns into butterflies Rook soon realizes he's much, much more than a private eye. He is the eye of the reality storm.

Click here to buy Black Hole Butterfly from Amazon (and it's an incredible sci-fi read)

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