enhanced] DD-B

Book Note: Elizabeth Bear, Hammered

I read this book about 26-Feb-2006. This is the first time I've read this book. The book is copyright 2005. This note was last modified Monday, 19-May-2014 16:48:02 PDT.

This is book 1 of the "Jenny Casey" series.

This note contains spoilers for the book.


A thick first novel, which is being fun so far. Even if I don't really believe in Canada holding the border against a desperate United States (climate change).

Interesting take on multinational corporations and the military-industrial complex, leading to something of a mess. And they sure are keeping the information about the alien spaceship on Mars quiet.

By the end they have managed to get the main character, including the AI riding in her head, out to the starship, so that's good. I'm not so pleased by putting Canada in the role of the global counterbalance to China, though; they just don't have the population. And I think she's optimistic in building a beanstalk that soon while dealing with the massive climate changes and the changes in world balance of power, and all those UN police actions. Oh, and I don't believe in the underground river with the super-heated steam release, no grill or anything, but a warning klaxon, in the first place, and I'm certainly not happy with it coming up as a deus ex machina when they needed it.

(As is perhaps inevitable, Elizabeth Bear tells me that the river and steam are real.)

I feel like I ought to like this book better than I actually do. I can't point to serious flaws—the complaints above are the sort of thing I'm generally willing to give an author as a piece of the background. I never quite connect with the characters, for no apparent reason. Still, I'll probably read the next one.

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David Dyer-Bennet