The next two Amazon reviews:
4.0 out of 5 stars Fast paced, well plotted read. December 28, 2014Good, well paced story. Reminded me of Heinlein’s “juveniles” in the pacing, dialogue, etc; and I mean that in a good sense. Young people (and some not so young) faced with making choices that have far-reaching consequences. An intriguing scientific development which can affect the whole human race forces the protagonists to grow up. I am looking forward to the continuation of the series.4.0 out of 5 stars Flawed but fun December 30, 2014By RichM
I really enjoyed this book, but a warning for the hard science people – you may not like some of the cavalier treatment conservation of mass and energy gets.
Another nitpick I have is the old story of 1) discover a technology on Monday 2) debug the technology on Tuesday and 3) deploy the technology on Wednesday. I exaggerate, but only slightly.
In spite of this I gave it 4 stars, because who doesn’t enjoy giving it to the man?
I would share this reviewer’s concerns if the violations of standard conservation of mass and energy weren’t explained in two ways: explicitly, by Steve Duong (who shares the unease), and implicitly by the “world as simulation” thread of the story, which should leave the reader wondering if the story is taking place in a simulation itself. It’s pointed out that just such violations of physical laws would be expected on the margins of a less-than-perfect simulation, and there’s no reason to believe the physics-as-computation-on-substrate of what we think of reality is free of such flaws.
As for the normal pace of development of a technology, I’m asking the reader to believe Steve Duong is one of those rare geniuses who can do in a week what might take a team of scientists a year. While such people are rare, they do exist; and the story must move fast and so can’t stop to do more than hint at the long process of development in normal teams.