by M. M. Buckner
Review by Steve Sawicki
Ace Books Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 0441011888
Date: 27 July, 2004 List Price $6.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
Dominick Jedes is a powerful executive for the largest bank on the planet. He's been groomed for the position by his father: who, as the book opens, is still alive and kicking. This soon changes as the old man refuses medical attention in order to finish a meeting and ends up making a bad choice. Unfortunately for Jedes, his father has had his mind downloaded into a computer and now appears as a digital ghost. To make matters worse, a decision made by Jedes to cast loose a profit losing submarine, has come back to haunt him as well. Jedes gets sent to rectify things, comes to hate the digital ghost of his father, falls in with a dodgy secret agent and generally fumbles his way about until success eludes him no longer.
There are interesting concepts here; the rise of the commercial entities, the digitalization of personality, the socio-economic layers that have risen from ecological and financial strife and the general socialization of everything. There's also humor and fairly fast plotting which sometimes aids and sometimes hinders. Buckner presents us with the world without going into a lot of detail which serves the plot if at times it leaves you wondering exactly how things got that way. The humor works both ends as well, sometimes moving the plot along and providing a respite and sometimes getting in the way.
I enjoyed the book overall, I liked the characters for the most part and while one or two of the situations seemed a reach I can forgive this by being distracted by good writing and a decent plot, which this book had plenty of. I enjoyed the world and I enjoyed what Buckner did with it. I'd be interested in seeing her continue to develop it.