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“Crashing Heaven” reminds me of the “Culture Books” by Iain M Banks who died in 2013. After he passed away, I thought I would never again encounter AI’s (Artificial Intelligence) with unimaginable intellect but also with unrestrained emotions that sometimes leads to disastrous consequences. (We all know very smart people who occasionally do really stupid things.) This is a buddy book that pairs a man with an AI as they investigate a mysterious crime. The human represents common sense and the AI represents both logic and emotion. There is action, technology and many tense moments.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Crashing Heaven is Al Roberston's debut novel. Set in a far future, artificial intelligences (AIs) run humanity, essentially replacing religion as humans align with the particular entities associated with their line of work or entertainment. Termed the Pantheon, the tale begins at the conclusion of a solar system wide war with a different AI cabal, the Totality, Jack a soldier, but former forensic accountant, who had surrendered to the Totality is repatriated back to Pantheon and proceeds to reinvigorate the murder investigation that instigated his current state. What he stumbles upon is crime, corruption, and manipulation on a grand scale, necessitating an assault on the Pantheon stronghold known as Heaven.
The sci-fi elements are mainly centered around digital / electronic / virtual reality, that comes off as William Gibson squared. AIs dominate the landscape with a blurring of the lines between human and machine intelligence. Even the deceased remain as digital versions known as "fetches" while virtual reality is seamlessly integrated with real space to create whole new environments. The dominance of AIs is taken for granted, but the underlying theme is that even AIs can succumb to petty, human foibles and turning important decision over to the new "gods" is no recipe for success.
The narration is excellent with a good range of voices and solid pacing.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful
I really enjoyed this blockbusting story. it read like a movie, with some really fun action, and lots of cool ideas. very cyber punk without being clunky. simple narrative isn't challenging, but is engaging.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Crashing Heaven is a techo sci fi, filled with decent ideas of AIs, gods and and semi alien race. It is a thriller and a predictable detective story. It holds together fairly well but marred by the excessive use of bad language.
Now, I'm not a prude and will accept it if it fits the character but here it is just too much of it. It became tiresome and started distracting from the story.
Crashing Heaven is certainly a unique sci-fi with its setting and the events which unfold throughout. it is eloquently written and certainly enthralling.
The story was incredible and fresh, the performance excellent... I really hope Al Robertson writes a lot more SF.
The one negative, not to do with the story or performance, is the editing of the audiobook. Particularly in the first few parts, there are multiple takes of the same passage. This should be fixed.