Thursday, 24 February 2011

SCIENCE FICTION REVIEW: Deep State - Walter Jon Williams

Release Date: 03/02/11


Dagmar Shaw is one of the world's hottest designers of alternate reality games. She is the Puppetmaster and thousands of gamers are dancing on her strings. But when the campaign she is running in Turkey comes into conflict with the new, brutal regime, she realises that games can have very real consequences. When an old friend approaches Dagmar with a project so insane, so ambitious, she can't possibly say no, she is plunged into a world of spies and soldiers. A nation hangs in the balance and in a world of intrigue and betrayal, the master player must face the possibility that she has, herself, been played. Dagmar is the Puppetmaster, but when the bullets are real and her 'puppets' start dying, is any cause worth it?


Whilst the original novel was not only fascinating but one to keep you glued to the last page, this one was more of a miss than a hit as it felt that it was more of a novella rather than a full length title. It was overdrawn, the characters nowhere near as fresh as the original title (This is Not a Game) and when looked at overall felt rather like a damp squib from Walter rather than his usual roaring lion.

All in, throughout this novel I kept hoping that the author would do something to save this title rather than just leave it to drag out for page after page, leaving me sadly disappointed by the final pages turning. Whilst I wouldn’t call it the authors best work, it is acceptable and will do what the blurb leads you to believe but if you want something hard hitting or even in the same league as the original then you’ll be sadly disappointed.

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