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Review: Rainbow Bridge by Gwyneth Jones 
9th-May-2010 04:27 pm
triangle, bizarre
Rainbow Bridge (Gollancz S.F.) Rainbow Bridge by Gwyneth Jones

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The cover blurb described this as "Iain Banks on acid". My immediate thought was, "Well, if I had to name an author who really didn't need pharmaceutical enhancement, Banks would be one."

Still, the comparison to Banks is not entirely inapt. Certainly, Jones and Banks share a tendency to create fantastical but fantastically detailed futures, with a bit of sex-drugs-and-rock-and-roll about them. Jones doesn't have quite the whimsical tendency of Banks - there are no spaceships with funny names or snarky AIs here.

What I didn't quite realize when I picked up this book is that it is several books in to a cycle that began with Bold As Love. While I enjoyed Rainbow Bridge, I think I'd probably have gotten a lot more out of it if I'd actually read the previous volumes. Jones is a somewhat oblique writer - or at least, like Gene Wolfe, she doesn't spell out any more for the reader than she thinks is necessary.

The book is set in a post-petroleum world of energy scarcity, in which our heroes have until recently been rock-star (yes, literally) rulers of Britain. Their rule is abruptly ended by a Chinese invasion, and they decide to play along to avoid further bloodshed, knowing that they harbor secrets that could make the Chinese rulers very unhappy indeed.

I still feel like I need to go back and read the previous books to put the whole picture together, but this book has made me fairly eager to do so.

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10th-May-2010 03:08 am (UTC)
Oh, do read the others. Definitely do. I LOVE them.

I mean, I'm a sucker for a story about a crazy tangle-haired girl and the two hulking men who love her and, in their own ways, each other. For some reason. But I think they'd be good even for people who didn't have that particular weakness.
10th-May-2010 06:47 pm (UTC)
Actually, something that I meant to mention in my review and then forgot to was just how much I liked the portrayal of the Ax/Sage/Fiorinda relationship(s).

I'm trying not to buy more books until I've whittled down my to-read pile a bit further, but I may make an exception for this series.
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