|Youre the new hire, the new resident subject matter,
youre at your first inter-departmental team meeting and everyone is talking
and youre called on to demonstrate something simple like walking on
water. While this is not the premise of Mr Strosss latest novel, it is certainly the
Halting State is a near-future spy thriller, based
around online computer gaming and Strosss own predictions for convergent
developments in cellphones, iPods, PDAs, and the like, and surveillance technology.
The story is told from three separate character points of view; sometimes in sequence
and sometimes in parallel. Most of the time this three-way point of view works, but I kept
feeling that there were really only two characters, and at times that they were swapping
clothes and personalities. The other difficulty, if I could describe it as such, I had
with the writing was the acronym heavy language with said acronyms sometimes explained
chapters after they were introduced. However, given the context of the acronym use and the
type of story the presence of to-be-guessed-at abbreviations was forgivable.
Those quibbles aside, and for me they were only quibbles, this book was a real page
turner with some laugh out loud moments. I enjoyed it. Given Strosss tendency to
write revisit characters and scenarios, I look forward to reading the sequels to this book
whenever he may chose to write them.