Published: Nov 2011 (2010)
Jean le Flambeur is a post-human criminal, mind burglar, confidence artist and trickster. His origins are shrouded in mystery, but his exploits are known throughout the Heterarchy - from breaking into the vast Zeusbrains of the Inner System to steal their thoughts, to stealing rare Earth antiques from the aristocrats of the Moving Cities of Mars. Except that Jean made one mistake. Now he is condemned to play endless variations of a game-theoretic riddle in the vast virtual jail of the Axelrod Archons - the Dilemma Prison - against countless copies of himself. Jean's routine of death, defection and cooperation is upset by the arrival of Mieli and her spidership, Perhonen. She offers him a chance to win back his freedom and the powers of his old self - in exchange for finishing the one heist he never quite managed .
The author is Finnish so of course I had to read it, he has also got a Phd in mathematical physics, which shows. I was truly confused by this book at times, but do not get me wrong, it is a well-written book and it shows that it is written by someone who masters the genre. It is wondrous.
I truly do not know where to begin. It was made up from words, and I was lost at times. I felt like I was trapped in a surreal dream. And still it was one of the best sci-fi books I have read, because of the way he wrote. It is a masterful novel and if he continues to write like he does then he will be remembered.
Later I found the things I had been missing on wikipedia, a glossary of all those terms I had no idea about. Yes he sure made up a lot of things and I did not always understand what they were. Since they were knew and he did not always spell it out. So an advice would be, check wikipedia. It will help a bit. Rajaniemi knew his world, and better than I did for sure. But if you just go with the flow you will be alright.
But do not ask me what the book is about, there are twists and turns, Mieli who has kidnapped our thief does not explain what she needs either. So we are thrown into a world and Jean needs to find his memories from before so he can figure things out. And just as he is confused what is going on, so are we. And at the end things starts coming together and secrets are brought out in the open, and I was surprised.
I also liked that he used a few Finnish words as names, and more. Yes, I truly liked that. Not to mention that it gave me more insight since they had a meaning too.
I have confused you all now haven't I? Just let me say that this is a sci-fi book to read, the world is pieced together masterfully and you get a detective/adventure story all in one. It would make one kicking movie.