Chill by Elizabeth Bear
My rating: 3 1/2 of 5 stars
Chill moves, from the very beginning, at a faster clip than Dust. It is simultaneously more and less complicated than its predecessor. It is a chase story, but of course that chase turns out to be nearly inconsequential. And, there are a lot of moving parts in this one. New Conns, new Engineers, new inhabitants of old domaines, and a shadowy presence that seems to be taking over the ship. And then there are the familiar faces, some of whom we get to know a little better this time around, as family histories are revealed, bit by bit. The web of characters remains confusing, though I think, by the end of the novel, I'd settled into the family tree a bit more. The story kept me interested, but the resolution - such as it was - felt abrupt, rushed. This was true of Dust, as well, so I wonder if Bear simply struggles with endings. And, once again, the results of the big reversal (after several smaller reversals) are more clear than the actual details of it.
I'm told that Jacob's Ladder is a trilogy. I do hope that the third book, unlike the first two, answers at least as many questions as it raises, and in more satisfying ways.
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