First off I’d like to thank the publisher Immersion Press for not patronizing me. The price on this book was £10. Not £9.99. Not a penny under just so that I think I’m spending less than £10. That is more than I’d normally pay for a Novella but it is a hard back and more importantly it is by Aliette de Bodard. If you haven’t read any of her stuff before you are missing out. She is a fantastic author. I was very excited to read this book as I have enjoyed several of her other works.
This book is a modern version of the Chinese classic A Dream of Red Mansions. Except that it is modernized and set on a space station. There are so many potential pitfalls and ways to turn this in to an obvious and poor copy. My knowledge of Chinese culture comes mainly from watching old films so I only get the very basics but family and the filial bonds are always an important factor. The ties of the blood and the different types of sacrifices made by various family members comes across really well in this story. From the Mind of the ancestor embedded in the station as the central part of the network running space station Prosper to the lesser partner in a marriage being left to run the station the characters are strong and clearly defined. This really is a beautifully crafted and engrossing read that deserves to be read and re-read. It is probably my favourite read for quite a while.