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Ratings and Book Reviews (3 24 star ratings
3 reviews
)

Overall rating

3.8 out of 5
24
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    The style and pacing of this work is simply tedious and disappointing.
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    Couldn't put it down

    Tinker tailor soldier spy meets northern Lights. Loved the bewildering world of spies and intelligence mixed with the philosophy of life and death, the retro tech (which never got too hamfistedly steampunk) and the complex characters.
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    Valvepunk, Spies and the afterlife is real.

    I will admit that I'm generally not one to read espionage novels. I chose this book because I am a fan of both science fiction and the author's other works. This is an alternate history where elements of Valvepunk are the basis for a spy story set just after the first world war. Just to keep the reader on their toes, Rajaniemi has created a world where the afterlife is real and the departed are in regular contact, via various devices and methods, with the living. Furthermore, the British empire extends into the afterlife; enter Summerland. The Soviets also have a firm presence in the afterlife and British agent Rachel White believes she has a lead on a Soviet mole. I found this novel entertaining, mostly original and interesting enough to get me to the last page. My main criticism is that there were occasions when I thought the characters, their reactions to events and to each other were slightly stereotypical of a 1920's London and, oh so very British. That being said and having read other works by this author, I would consider this the most accessible of his works and a fun read.
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