Sunday, December 12, 2010
The Machinery of Light by David J. Williams
Here it is, the final novel of Williams' Autumn Rain trilogy. After Carson Strom's betrayal and assassination of the American President, and his subsequent reveal as one of the original Rain operatives, shellshocked readers were left asking, "Can it get any bigger and more amazing?"
American forces are now engaged in a full on war against the Eurasian Coalition, and with the complete annihilation of Earth pretty much accomplished, all eyes now turn to the moon. Claire Haskell, the hyper powerful, not-quite-human, cyber-weapon is imprisoned and behind the scenes, Autumn Rain's mastermind, Matthew Sinclair, is performing his Endgame.
The Machinery of Light is a fantastic, thrill-a-minute ride that more than delivers on the promise of the previous volumes. There's enough high tech warfare in this volume alone to fill another trilogy, character loyalties and destinies are shaped, and the tantalizing suggestion of time travel and teleportation is raised.
I must say that it seems like a common enough trope, but it never really gets old. If you develop a futuristic setting which mostly jibes with our view of reality, the introduction of traditional hard sci-fi concepts like multiple dimensions can be a powerful element. Though familiar, it provides a strong twist and a suitable motivation for the characters.
And speaking of characters, the development continues. Claire Haskell, though still perpetually pissed off, grows to accept her responsibility and power, and Carson Strom continues his rise into the halls of iconic future badasses.
Really, there's not much I can say without spoiling too much of the plot, or even that could make sense without reading the other two books. Suffice it to say that when authors start a trilogy, they can only hope their final installment is as good as The Machinery of Light.