Today's book review is The Hidden Family by Charles Stross.
This is book two in the Merchant Princes series. It would make considerably less sense without having first read The Family Trade. It also ends somewhat distressingly in the middle of things.
This is fast paced, full of action, and fun, with some interesting speculation, but he did mean things to some characters that diminished my enjoyment. The world remains well constructed and consistent and continues to depend on only a single McGuffin which carries over from the first book. Said McGuffin is fleshed out a little bit, but consistently and fairly. I was on a panel at Capricon this past weekend where it was discussed that people in a different society should actually think and act differently, and it occurred to me that at least in some important ways, Stross is doing this. The story arc is driven by people who are acting in ways that don't seem very reasonable to me, but they are consistent with the way people in those societies act.
7 out of 10.
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