Review: Too Like the Lightning

81hifvbq-4lTitle: Too Like the Lightning (2016)
Author: Ada Palmer
Pages: 432
Series: Terra Ignota #1


Review:  Too Like the Lightning chronicles several days on Earth in the distant future, where flying cars zip through the sky, country borders have been dissolved, and war is non-existent.

This is a unique and challenging book that left me feeling quite conflicted. I will never complain about straightforward novels that spoon-feed information and exposition, but this was so far towards the opposite end of that spectrum that it made my head spin. Careful reading, backtracking, and re-reading were necessary to understand what exactly was going on. Author Ada Palmer makes you work for each revelation and concept contained in her deeply fleshed-out future world. And while the ideas presented and communicated feel prescient and thought-provoking, the work I put in far exceeded the enjoyment I took away.

There are shimmers of brilliance throughout, but it frequently crumbles under the weight of its own inaccessibility. The thoroughness required in reading actually left me so enmeshed within the world that, upon coming to the final page, I was disappointed that there was no definitive resolution. The story will continue in a sequel coming this February, but I may not be along for the ride.

★★¾ out of 5

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