Phenomenal. If I had one word to describe this book, this would be it. John C. Wright carves an intricate continuation of his Golden Age Trilogy that picks up where the first one left off. He challenges our belief on moral and philosophical standards in new ways and reinforces those previously introduced to captivate the mind and the imagination.
Phaethon of Radamanthus House is in exile; he is stripped of his status, his friends, and his possessions including his beloved ship: The Phoenix Exultant. Being cast adrift from the society he knows, he will find allies in the most unlikely of places. For the first time in his life he will need to rely on others if he is to make his dream a reality and bring civilization out of it’s stagnant state; leading them past the known universe to create new worlds.
I don’t know how everyone else imagines the future, but this was not how I would picture it. Granted I don’t look as far as 100,000 years forward (more like a hundred tops) so I see things with less significant advancements. As I was reading I would think again and again, “I could never imagine a world like this. It’s far too complex.” In reality I have never been interested in dreaming of complex, futuristic worlds. I’m not sure if I’ve spent significant time even thinking of any complex stories. However, reading this book made me want to write something deeper. When I say that I don’t necessarily mean “profound” or with significant meaning. Plots with multiple levels are fun to read and (I would think) also fun to write. Satisfaction isn’t just a result of worldly success; it’s about the difficulty and/or significance of the task accomplished.
My one critique of this book is opinionated and laying no fault on the author or his work whatsoever. The reason I don’t read much science fiction is because I often struggle with the level of description necessary to show the complexities of the futuristic worlds. Taking place some 100,000 years in the future, technology is far beyond anything we have now. Wright must take a considerable amount of time to teach the reader the necessary information so they can understand what is happening and how it is possible. Some readers may find this to be a turn off, but if you can adjust to the style than the story is absolutely worth reading.