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The Machinery of Light, by David J. Williams Book Review | SFReader.com
The Machinery of Light, by David J. Williams Genre: Science Fiction Publisher: Spectra Published: 2010 Review Posted: 10/13/2013 Reviewer Rating:
Reader Rating: Not Rated
The Machinery of Light, by David J. Williams
Book Review by Joshua Palmatier
Have you read this book?
Literally just finished reading the third book in David J. Williams' Autumn
Rain trilogy, The Machinery of Light. This is an action-packed
sci-fi thriller that you can totally see being made into a movie, with intense
battle scenes that are non-stop, along with highly visual settings that the
movie industry would love.
There's also some heavy-duty tech going on, mostly dealing with the author's
vision of what the "internet" and "computers" will be like
in the future, what he's calling "zones" in the book. Nearly all of
his main characters access these computer zones through hardware wired through
their minds, and nearly all of the REAL warfare between the factions is waged
and won on these zones. All of the high-tech mercenary gear and other massive
weapons and mechware are essentially the brute force needed to get the
razors--those who hack the zones--into place so they can do their thing.
All of this is background that was set up in the first book, but it gives you
the flavor of all three. In this third novel, David J. Williams' takes the
stakes--already set pretty high in the first two novels--to new levels. We
still get the non-stop action, but now all of the players--mechs, razors, the
Autumn Rain group, the Manilishi, etc--are into position for the final power
play. And this power play will extend from the Himilayas all the way to the
center of the Moon, and in many ways beyond. And through it all, the main
characters are trying to determine if it all hasn't been foreseen and their
actions predetermined by the mastermind behind it all, Sinclair, who's real
purpose no one really knows.
I loved all three of these books. They are fast-paced (I'm not certain they
could be any faster actually, without everything being an instant download to
the brain), well-written, sharp, and with a driving force that propels the
reader forward whether they want to go there or not. I don't generally read
sci-fi, because too much of it is focused on the tech and not enough on the
characters. There's a ton of tech here, certainly, but we also get to know the
characters, and the final actions that some of them take are directly related
to their own personal needs and wants. That itself was compelling, but where
the novel ended--the real sci-fi element behind the book, not just the
heavy-duty machinery and weaponry--was also suitably thought-provoking.
Like any good sci-fi book out there, the end result isn't exactly precise,
isn't perfectly understandable, but has just enough solidity to make it feel
real and to leave readers with interesting questions that can only be answered
by themselves. Think in terms of the ending of Arthur C. Clarke's 2001: A
Space Odyssey. Williams' ending may not be as profound (it's arguable), but
it has that same flavor. I can't say much more about this ending without
significantly spoiling the plot, so I'll shut up now.
I don't know what's next on David J. Williams' plate, but I'd definitely like
to see what he comes up with.
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