Mini Reviews: Arkwright by Allen Steele & Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson

I read those two books last month but I didn’t have the chance to review them, however, I have some things that I want to talk about so here I am with two mini reviews of Arkwright and Snow Crash! 🙂

Arkwright by Allen Steele

 

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When I started this book, I was sure that I was going to give it five stars, it’s just so geeky that as a speculative fiction reader, you just cannot not like this book at least a little. First of all, it follows the family of a very successful science fiction writer named Nathan Arkwright who wants to send a generationship in space thanks to the money made with the books he sold. You get chapters relating the first WorldCon and Asimov, Heinlein and Clarke make sevreal appearances as actual characters and that’s just incredibly cool.

One of the main issue I had with this book was the pacing, I didn’t think it was very good because the story jumps from generation to generation of Arkwright family member and you don’t really get the chance to know any of them well. I like family saga when you actually care about the different family members, I didn’t really thought it was the case here. Also, their storyline all seem the same, Arkwright gorgeous male family member meets hot scientist and love ensues. It wasn’t really done well and it was a bit of a shame because Steele isn’t good at writing romance and during the entire book, he kept trying (and in my opinion, completely failing )and it really distracted me from the plot.

Speaking of the plot, the idea of this novel was great but I was a bit underwhelmed by the execution, I may have liked this a lot more if I hadn’t read Seveneves before because it often felt (especially in the last section) that Arkwright was a pale comparison… However, it wasn’t a bad book at all, it was very easy to read and all the geeky parts really resonated well with me. Overall it was a good book, it didn’t do all the things I expected but it was a fun ride with some unexpected twist. I will try other books by Steele!

 

 

Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson

 

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As you may know, I read and completely adored Anathem by Stephenson in October, because of that, I decided to pick up Snow Crash on a whim and let’s just say that it is veeeeeery different from Anathem.

Snow Crash is supposed to be a parody of cyperpunk but since I haven’t read enough of this genre, I had trouble identifying those elements. In a way, it reminded me of Ready Player One, it is set in a future world where people can access a virtual reality thanks to their computers where you can be anything. Our hero, Hiro Protagonist, is both a total looser and a cool dude, he’s both the best swordfighter in the world, and an unemployed hacker who works as a pizza delivering guy.

If you find this weird , this is just the beginning, Snow Crashis an utterly crazy book and I can’t say that I ever read something quite like it before. As always with Stephenson, it is filled with really interesting and well researched theorical paragraphs, in this book, the main themes explored are Sumerian culture, language and the theory of conciousness.

It was a fun read but I still have trouble finding out if I liked it or not, this is so over the top that most of the time when I was reading, I was like “Why am I reading this? Just what the heck is happening?”. I actually almost DNFd this book a couple of times because of that, I’m glad I didn’t but still, it shows how weird it was!

I don’t know if it’s something that I want to recommend or not, if you’re intrigued you should go to the library or download a sample somewhere and if you like the prologue, you’ll probably enjoy it since it really sets the tone for the entire book!

 

Have you read any of those two books? Did you like them?

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4 thoughts on “Mini Reviews: Arkwright by Allen Steele & Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson

  1. I’m actually very curious about both books. I remember my boyfriend at the time trying to get me to read Snowcrash, but it just didn’t appeal to me. My tastes have really changed, though, so maybe one of these days!

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  2. I loved Arkwright, but I definitely think it could have afford to be a longer, if just to give each the reader more time to connect with each generation. I adored the idea, but I’m with you, some of the characters passed by way too quickly. I did enjoy the ending though, it got me a bit teary eyed 🙂

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