cover image The Causal Angel

The Causal Angel

Hannu Rajaniemi. Tor, $25.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-7653-2951-6

Rajaniemi's largely satisfying third and final tale of posthuman gentleman thief Jean le Flambeur (after The Quantum Thief and The Fractal Prince) occasionally gets a bit muddled as the plot hits its crescendo. After Jean's rescuer and employer, Mieli, is cast into space, Jean concocts a plan to rescue her with the assistance of former nemesis Matjek, now reincarnated as a child. Meanwhile, Mieli is drawn into the conflict between the Zoku and the Sobornost via the Great Game, and Jos%C3%A9phine, who instigated the events that launched the series, continues her machinations. Rajaniemi's distant future is filled with duplicated bodies and quantum prisons, and at times the relentless terminology ("Founder gogol," "Wang bullet," "qupt") begs for exposition, but context generally prevails for the patient reader, especially one who's read the earlier books. One weakness is the early death of a character who'd seemed destined for more, a symptom of loose ends being too aggressively tied up. But Rajaniemi still offers a thrilling final ride, and fans will walk away satisfied. (July)