This started off great; I actually laughed in certain areas. It took a while to figure out what was going on, but when I did, I loved the play-style viewpoint of the daemons and the idea that they have human-like emotions and personalities. The sections featuring the viewpoint of the nanodaemons were definitely the high points of the book.
The other viewpoints I was not so enamored of. The style switches between omniscient narrator and third person. Still, I grew to like the main protagonist, Leo, and especially Aibo, and even Leo’s love interest. The narration jumps didn’t bother me that much.
What bothered me more was frequent odd word usage, awkward in many spots. I eventually decided that the writer is likely not a native English speaker, which is fine, but the work should probably have gone through someone who could pick out those things that sound odd to an American or English ear, if it’s going to be targeted to those groups. The writing is clunky. At first it didn’t bother me much, but started to wear as things went on. Also, it seemed to get worse further on in the book, particularly when the user’s viewpoint is represented.
I also had some plot issues: (spoiler) Some deus ex machina; the girl (or her father) has the correct anti-venin for an enhanced cobra? Why was there only one warden/employee in the entire prison and why weren’t any of the doors locked? And the big one: the ‘why’ was never answered at all. Why would a Sikh want to murder the mayor? What did the mayor ever do to them? And why set up Leo to be framed, especially in this convoluted manner? It seemed a very shaky way to do it. And if he was set up to take the fall, why murder him? That would kind of defeat the purpose. (close spoiler)
It’s like the author is trying to add excitement to a book which is really about the inner workings of nanotechnology. A great idea that was stretched to work. I would have preferred that the whole thing be experienced through the eyes of the daemons.
All-in-all, I really enjoyed this novella, but would have enjoyed it more with some of the issues taken care of. I would still recommend it to future-tech aficionados, sci-fi fans, and adventure fans. A really interesting, and unique, viewpoint.
The Snow Deer cover
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