February 06, 2006

BOOKS: The Hidden Family, Charles Stross (2005)

Book two of "The Merchant Princes." My comments on the first volume, The Family Trade, here.

Not much to add to those comments, really. The new book has the same strengths -- a smart and appealing lead character who is neither dolt nor genius, vividly imagined alternate worlds (and yes, a third world plays a large part in the plot this time), clever plotting -- as the first.

It also shares the first book's major weakness, with an abrupt ending that leaves us hanging in the middle of the story, waiting for the next volume to resolve anything (if, in fact, the next volume doesn't just leave us hanging waiting for the fourth). And the final chapter is so muddled that even after reading it four times, I'm still not exactly sure how our heroine and her pals get out of their predicament.

The strengths outweigh the weaknesses, and I'll be there when the next installment of Miriam's story arrives.

No comments: