Summerland by Hannu Rajaniemi

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I ordered Hannu Rajaniemi's new SF novel, Summerland pre-release and just finished listening to the unabridged Audible version. The production was fine and the story was fine. But not the mind-bending, idea-laden, richly-drawn epic with complex, relatable characters I was expecting. It's an interesting premise, but Rajaniemi does not elaborate it to the degree he did the world of Jean le Flambeur (one of my favorite characters in recent SF in one of my favorite worlds). There were no surprises.

I'm not saying I'm dissatisfied because it doesn't take place in the same story-world. I'm dissatisfied the story-world isn't as deep, isn't described as thickly, and the conflict seems at times petty and superficial. It's a good story and there may be interesting future twists, if Rajaniemi writes a sequel (but why hold back ideas that would have made this a better read?). The book marketing set the expectation this would be another volume by "one of the most exciting science fiction writers in the last decade" and I don't think it hits the mark. It's as if the Quantum Thief series took a decade to write and this was dashed off in a fortnight. It's more like a Laundry Files novel (complete with irritating British civil service bureaucracy), which although entertaining, in my opinion detracts from the stakes of the conflict. I like the Laundry Files and I liked Summerland. But I was hoping I'd love it.