cover image The Restoration Game

The Restoration Game

Ken MacLeod. Pyr, $16 trade paper (258p) ISBN 978-1-61614-525-5

Brewing revolution in a small corner of the former U.S.S.R. pulls a writer for a Scottish gaming startup into a complex game of international intrigue. Lucy Stone, whose family has been involved with the tiny ethnic enclave of Krassnia since the 1930s, is asked by her CIA-employed mother to create a version of her company's massively multiplayer role-playing game, using Krassnia as background, so the country's revolutionaries can organize secretly. Lucy is intrigued by old tales of a mystery on a Krassnian mountain whose power baffled the Soviets for decades and now has drawn the attention of an international array of conspirators. MacLeod (The Execution Channel) packs his latest with such density of ideas and detail that the plot moves slowly, and foreshadows so heavily that his tale's eventual climax is undermined, but fans of his intellectually challenging mix of political and economic philosophy, history, and espionage will find much to enjoy. (Sept.)