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Robson, Justina: Mappa Mundi

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Mappa Mundi (2001)
Author: Justina Robson 
Genre: Science Fiction, Speculative Fiction
Pages: 523 (trade paperback)
Series: Stand-Alone

Summary (from Justina Robson's Amazon UK store)Collapse )

Read For:
The Women of Science Fiction book club at Dreams and Speculations (click the icon above for more details!)

I have never heard of this book before. I've heard of Justina Robson before, but I've never read her or really had any inclination to (not that I think she's a bad author, but the one book I heard about by her, Natural History, looked a little too heavy of a sci-fi for me at the time, so I didn't pay it much mind.) I was more than happy to read it for this month's pick though, and while this is a fairly heavy book (both literally at 500+ pages and figuratively), it was still fun. And that's usually what matters, right?

REVIEW: minor spoilersCollapse )

Final Verdict: Unfortunately I had a hard time concentrating on this title, and I'm not too sure why, but I don't fault the author. However, because of said unable-to-concentradness, I didn't pick up on important details which led me to be a little confused. So with that, I give a word of caution: this isn't a light read and you have to be ready to pay attention when you read. However, despite being a little confused at times, I still really enjoyed this novel. The characters were fantastic, and while I didn't necessarily LIKE everyone (re: Mary; stupid stupid Mary) I still FELT something for each character, and I did really root for the ones I like. There's also all kinds of discussion to be had with this book as it does delve into all kinds of questions of moral ethics. I do want to point out that if you're looking for sci-fi with spaceships and stuff, you won't find it here; this book falls mostly in the speculative fiction umbrella because it mostly takes place in our world as we know it, but with a touch of the futuristic (with gadgets like the Pads, and the whole 'mapping the brain' science going on.) Robson has obviously done her research for this novel as well and it shows. I do think I'll be checking out more Robson in the future; I hope to read Natural History by her, and maybe check out her sci-fi series too (the name eludes me at the moment.) A definite recommend.

Cover Commentary: Eh, my edition doesn't catch my eye too much to be honest. I do like the shade of blue though, and the font. :) 


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