21 May, 2010

Review - The Mirrored Heavens by David J. Williams

Unlike any book I've ever read, The Mirrored Heavens [US] [UK] blasts out the gates and never lets up. I have to admit that I'm not the most well-read when it comes to science fiction (I'm working on it), but I was really surprised at how much I enjoyed this story about a very real future world where terrorists are attempting to take over.

It's not too often that you read a book that's completely told in the present tense. This annoyed me at first, but the more I got used to it the more I realized how much it actually plays into the ideas of the book, whether intentional or not, it was actually quite impressive.
In the 22nd century, the first wonder of a brave new world is the Phoenix Space Elevator, designed to give mankind greater access to the frontier beyond Earth. Cooperatively built by the United States and the Eurasian Coalition, the Elevator is also a grand symbol of superpower alliance following a second cold war. And it’s just been destroyed.

With suspicions rampant, armies and espionage teams are mobilized across the globe and beyond. Enter Claire Haskell and Jason Marlowe, U.S. counterintelligence agents and former lovers—though their memories may only be constructs implanted by their spymaster. Now their agenda is to trust no one. For as the crisis mounts, the lives of all involved will converge in one explosive finale—and a startling aftermath that will rewrite everything they’ve ever known—about their mission, their world, and themselves.
The Mirrored Heavens is told from four different points of view and each person is either a mech or a razor. Mechs and razors are always paired together as an elite team operating within one of the many organizations working against each other in a massive power struggle. One operates essentially as a hacker and brains of the operation and the other is the physical presence.

Razers can connect to Zone, which is in effect the World Wide Web times a bagillion, and hack through systems and even into other agents and each agent has the ability to communicate with each other through the Zone.

As I mentioned earlier, the pace is blazing fast, which serves as both a benefit and a detriment to the story. It keeps you reading and surprised at each twist and turn but this is done in lieu of world building and character development.

The Mirrored Heavens switches back and forth between characters many times very quickly (like every page) and this made it hard to remember where all there characters were exactly. Sometimes I wouldn't figure it out until a sentence or two before the next character came in.

Overall, this was great fast-paced fun with lots of futuristic action and some great twists that make for an excellent ending.

When Should You Read The Mirrored Heavens?

The Mirrored Heavens is filled with great ideas and moves at an amazing pace. Definitely recommended. I'm already well into The Burning Skies and it's just as good so far.

4 out of 5 Stars

The Autumn Rain Trilogy

The Mirrored Heavens [US] [UK]
The Burning Skies [US] [UK]
The Machinery of Light (out May 25, 2010) [US] [UK]

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Great review! I had the pleasure of hosting David on my blog yesterday. Looking forward to the third book.

ediFanoB said...

Well done Seak!

I have had the same impressions when I read The Mirrored Heavens.

Today I finished The Burning Skies and I can tell you the trip goes on. Nearly non stop breath taking action.
I really look forward to read the conclusion: The Machinery of Light.

Bryce L. said...

@Alex - Awesome interview, thanks a bunch. I'll have to link to it when I get The Burning Skies review up.

@edi - Thanks, these books are a great thrill ride for sure. I'm also pumped for Machinery. It's supposed to fully conclude everything, which is great news.