This is Michael’s favorite Shadowrun novel, which is why I read it. Given that it was a gaming novel, and a Shadowrun novel to boot, I didn’t have terribly high expectations for it. That said, I enjoyed it more than I expected. The writing was good and enjoyable to read. My one complaint about the writing was the abundant amount of jargon that filled the book from cover to cover. I understand that jargon is a staple of Shadowrun novels, but it drove me crazy! It was painful to read at times because of the vast amount of stupid words that filled the text for no other reason than to show that the book took place in the Shadowrun world. I knew that, thank you very much. The giant logo on the cover was my first hint, followed closely by the narrator’s profession as a Shadowrunner! The people did feel pretty real, which was good. I did find myself liking some of the characters very much. Buddy, the decker, was a particularly fun character to read about. The quality of the writing was very good and that really showed in the characters. They sounded like distinct people.
The problems that I had with the book usually arose with the story. The plot was interesting and had enough depth, but often the main character’s leaps of logic felt totally random, which annoyed me. The random leaps of logic could have been written off as hunches, but they usually weren’t. The logic leaps were necessary for the plot to move forward, but it would have been nice for something to trigger those leaps rather than then seeming out of the blue. In many ways the plot was very fitting for a Shadowrun novel. I liked that there was more depth to it than “a bunch of scruffy Shadowrunners go on a run and wackiness happens”, which seems to be the plot of many Shadowrun novels. This book focused on just one character who was not part of a set team and it spent more time on what happened between runs than on the gritty details of the runs themselves. That was nice. I got to see the main character as a person rather than just as a rigger or a street sam or an adept. One thing that made it difficult to believe the story was the absence of anything not directly related to the conspiracy at the center of the plot. Every single person mentioned and every event talked about somehow tied back to that central plot. There were no red herrings or loose ends. Life doesn’t work that way, not even for a Shadowrunner. The plot kept me interested, but it was hard to believe (even in that way you believe things that are in fiction books).
I enjoyed reading this book, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say it was great. It was enjoyable if you have enough background in Shadowrun to understand it and enough patience to get through the jargon-heavy dialogue.Posted by Katie at June 1, 2005 11:51 PM