Bruce Kroeze (invoke) wrote,
Bruce Kroeze
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Review of "Acts of the Apostles"

I just finished reading John F.X. Sundman's Acts of the Apostles, reading the last third in one mad rush. I just couldn't continue reading it in my usual style of a-page-or-two-at-a-time. It's too good for that.

It is a thriller/investigatory type of story, written by someone who really understands the life of techno-geeks. Probably he also understands scientist-geeks, specifically genetic researchers, but I'm not qualified to judge that. The story is technically science fiction, I suppose, though that is a rather large category. In any case, it is set in the very near future. As with the best of SF, the author manages to raise important issues and moral questions. Unlike Crichton, Barnes, or other SF luminaries, he manages to create actual characters, not just paper cutouts designed to showcase his world.

The dialog is good, very believable, and the characters motivations are equally well developed. If I have any criticism, it is that the climax seems a bit rushed. Perhaps, though, that is a result of my dash to the end.

I'd rather not spoil this excellent book by going too much into the story itself. Read and you will be rewarded.

Two quotes, selected to give a feel for his style without giving anything away:

Some narrative:

"[...] El Camino, once a thoroughfare between San Jose and San Francisco, was no longer a highway to anywhere. It had becmo a thrty-mile long shopping mall of national chain franchises, the human interface to the global economy. Before the invention of the first integrated circuit, this region had been orcharded -- as open as the farmland on the outskirts of Oneonta. And before that it had been grassland, as open as the Sahel. Soon, he supposed, it would become a wasteland, as shoppers forsook the quasi-human interaction of BlockBuster Video and The Gap for the onanistic delight of Internet shopping." P. 234

And some dialog:

"'Ask me in a month,' she said. 'Got any plans?'

'Think I'll go work for this friend of mine who does market research.'

'Spill your guts on every Dijjy-Mike project you know about?'

'Precisely. The guy who fired me would shit.'

'Who was that?' she asked.

'Monty Meekman.'

'Monty? He slimed you too? I'm impressed.'

He didn't think she was joking." p.110
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