August 2005
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Day August 19, 2005

Books #44 and #45: Ken MacLeod, Dark Light and Engine City

“Dark Light (The Engines of Light, Book 2)” and “Engine City (The Engines of Light, Book 3)” complete MacLeod’s “Engines of Light” trilogy. I finished the latter today, and found the entire trilogy to be a fast and enjoyable read. The middle book, “Dark Light,” was in my view the most interesting of the three, with fine pacing and detail. In some respects, of course, it “feels” like the middle book in a trilogy, but the detailed focus on the society of Croatan and its inhabitants was fascinating, as was the dynamics of the revolution begun and manipulated by some of the characters from book one. Engine City, the concluding novel, moves very quickly and really felt to me more of a sketch of how things turn out than the full story. This is caused, I think, by the large amount of territory — both in space and time — covered in the third novel. One is left wanting to know just a bit more about how things really work themselves out. But that’s the way of a good series, and while I don’t feel sad to be finished, as I did with the Fall Revolution series, I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

Now I’m moving on, fiction-wise, to finally tackle Stephenson’s Baroque Cycle. I flipped idly through the opening pages of “Quicksilver (The Baroque Cycle, Vol. 1)”, and was amazed by the density of references to Newton, Leibniz, the Glorious Revolution, the English Civil War, the Puritans, and the Thirty Year’s War. All by page 21. I’m hooked.