Today's book review is The Family Trade by Charles Stross.
This is the first book in the Merchant Princes series. There are three more out for sure and probably more coming if not already out. It ends in a pretty extreme cliffhanger.
This is an honest speculative story in the sense that it takes a single change in the reality we know, significant but limited in scope, and imagines what people would do with it and where it would lead. It leads to a lot of skulduggery and murdering, though not very much blowing things up, and interpersonal relationships that make the characters reasonably interesting. This isn't as deep as Stross' SF that I've read, but the world-building is still thorough and thoughtful. The story is exciting and engaging. Unfortunately, it doesn't come to an end; we run out of pages just as a couple of important plot twists are revealed.
7 out of 10, lowered for the frustrating ending.
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