The Quantum Thief (Hannu Rajaniemi)

27 August 2014

The Quantum Thief

Jean le Flambeur is a post-human criminal, mind burglar, confidence artist and trickster. His origins are shrouded in mystery, but his exploits are known throughout the Heterarchy - from breaking into the vast Zeusbrains of the Inner System to steal their thoughts, to stealing rare Earth antiques from the aristocrats of the Moving Cities of Mars.

Except that Jean made one mistake. Now he is condemned to play endless variations of a game-theoretic riddle in the vast virtual jail of the Axelrod Archons - the Dilemma Prison - against countless copies of himself.

Jean's routine of death, defection and cooperation is upset by the arrival of Mieli and her spidership, Perhonen. She offers him a chance to win back his freedom and the powers of his old self - in exchange for finishing the one heist he never quite managed...

Average Rating:

Sinclair Manson (20 September 2014 15:28)

I found this a bit difficult to get into; to me the introduction of the main character seemed unconvincing and failed to evoke much in the way of sympathy. I thought the book improved significantly as it went on and there were plenty of interesting ideas, especially as regards humanity negotiating a post-human existence. I found the book a little uneven and inelegant in places and I think the criticism that the plot does not stand well on its own is legitimate; the book feels very much like the first part of a trilogy. Altogether though, I enjoyed it and I would happily read the next installment.

Sean Aaron (1 September 2014 07:45)

First book in a trilogy that doesn't really stand alone. It's nicely-written, but I found the lack of reveal about some of the parties involved combined with characters that I didn't really connect with has left me not caring for more. Another example of modern "franchise-building": clever idea to spin a series. Given the length of this novel I think a longer single story would have been a better way to go.