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He’s correct: Krina and Ana each possess half of the fabled Atlantis Carnet, a lost financial instrument of unbelievable value - capable of bringing down entire civilizations. Krina doesn’t know that Count Rudi suspects her motives, so she accepts his offer to get her to Shin-Tethys in exchange for an introduction to Ana. And what neither of them suspects is that a ruthless body-double assassin has stalked Krina across the galaxy, ready to take the Carnet once it is whole - and leave no witnesses alive to tell the tale…
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By Julie W. Capell on 04-29-15
Commerce amongst the stars
“It is a truth universally acknowledged that every interstellar colony in search of good fortune must be in need of a banker.”
This line, which comes early in “Neptune’s Brood,” pretty much sums up how I reacted to this surprisingly engaging sci-fi look at commerce amongst the stars. You do not need to be a Jane Austen fan to enjoy this book, but you’d better be ready to hear about interstellar economics leavened with a serving of very dry humor. This novel is for you if you enjoy lines like that one, or this:
“Nothing concentrates the mind like starting a new management job In the middle of a space battle.”
[I listened to this as an audio book read by Emily Gray, who did a fantastic job, giving the different post-humans varied voices and personalities that made them really come alive.]
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
By Michael G Kurilla on 06-14-14
Even without humans, finance rules
Stross' Neptune's Brood is set in the same universe, but further into the future as Saturn's Children. Humans have come and gone multiple times. but their robot creations have carried on, recapitulating human ambitions and drive with regard to exploration, settlement, and establishment of organizational structure throughout the galaxy. Stross explores the financial requirements necessary to support interstellar colonization and development as well as the resulting potential for fraud, corruption, and get-rich-quick schemes, including a variant of the classical Ponzi scheme. The story concerns a lowly bank examiner for a large money center bank who also happens to have a hobby focusing on archaeological accountancy (basically digging up long forgotten financial transaction to collect any leftover booty). Her travels take her on an adventure that is engaging and entertaining as well as thought provoking.
The sci-fi elements are mostly android abstractions with multiple unique and clever implementations that allow robots to survive in strange environments. Stross also explores the impact of longer (centuries) survival times. The various plot twists and turns are largely unexpected with a varied cast of anthropomorphic robots that make up a wonderful cast of characters ensemble.
The narration is very well done with a solid range of characters that correctly captures nuance and subtlety.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful