Library Journal Reviews

The tropes of Golden Age mysteries and sf are referenced in this British Science Fiction Award (BSFA) award winner for best novel. Jack Glass is a celebrated and infamous murderer whose crimes unfold across space in three connected stories. Jack's guilt is clearly established, but the stories are surprising "howdunits" raising universal questions. VERDICT This is genre-bending, entertaining, slyly thought-provoking, occasionally bloody, and intellectually challenging space opera.

[Page 73]. (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly Reviews

Exuberant Golden Age space opera plotting plays against slyly understated contemporary storytelling in this exceptional novel. Although the discovery of a faster-than-light space drive offers humankind hope of escaping from an increasingly stagnant and brutally regimented solar system, it also makes possible the construction of a supernova bomb that could wipe out entire planets. The ruthless eponymous character is willing to do literally anything to keep the secret out of the wrong hands, but readers only gradually learn who and what he is and whether he can be trusted. Moving through three episodes that superficially resemble traditional narratives—a prison break and two whodunits—Roberts uses cunning and restraint in revealing Jack's thoughtful use of violence to teach Diana Argent, the brilliant but naïve young heiress of a powerful clan, how to survive in an unforgiving environment. This intelligent, powerful mingling of sensibilities and a serenely assured style makes for a remarkably compelling novel. (June)

[Page ]. Copyright 2013 PWxyz LLC