Equations of Life

Simon Morden, Author
Simon Morden, Orbit, $7.99 mass market (400p) ISBN 978-0-316-12518-5
Reviewed on: 02/07/2011
Release date: 04/01/2011
Morden (The Lost Art) offers up an engrossing, if occasionally goofy, adventure that meshes theoretical physics and exciting action sequences. In a dark near future, the U.S. has become a theocracy, Japan has been destroyed, and the U.K. has devolved into near-anarchy. Ph.D. student and Russian expatriate Samuil Petrovitch, living in the decaying London Metrozone, foils an attempt to kidnap a mysterious woman called Sonja and finds himself caught up in a war between Russian mobsters and a ruthless tycoon. As things escalate, Harry Chain, an enigmatic cop, and Madeleine, a sexy, violent nun, are also caught up in the war. Morden occasionally gets too cute and there are a few moments that border on deus ex machina, but Samuil's mix of action and research makes him a fresh and engaging character, and the escalating scale of danger and violence moves the plot along briskly. Though pitched as the start of a trilogy, the book stands nicely alone. (Apr.)
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