This is the second book in the Quantum Gravity series by Justina Robson. I liked the first book really well, but I wasn’t as impressed with this book. The plot was too hacked up, and the storylines that the different characters followed seemed unrelated. Despite that, the world is still really intriguing and the characters re-joined at the end of the book making me want to read more about them. I listened to this on audio book, and while the audio book was okay, it wasn’t the greatest reading I’ve ever heard. The reader had trouble doing male voices without making them sound annoying.
Lila Black is sent to Demonia on a mission to find how Zal became part demon. Meanwhile Zal gets stuck in the elemental realm (after having words about Lila with Malichi over an odd game of cards) and spends time there trying to get out. Malichi journeys to the Interstitial realm to learn more about ghosts. Eventually they all end up back together, but how all this is related to the problem of the cracks in the six different worlds is all a mystery to me.
I had some trouble understanding what this book was getting at. Lila didn’t do much in Demonia besides get into trouble and meet an imp; okay so she gets into *a lot* of trouble. Meanwhile Zal (who is on his way to meet her) ends up in the Elemental Realm and spends a lot of time there trying to get back out without dying. Zal’s part was kind of boring and dreamy and really only had one important reason for happening as far as I could tell. Totally unrelated to all of this Malichi ends up in the in-between Interstitial space learning about ghosts. If all of this stuff sounds unrelated, well, it pretty much was. I am fairly certain that everything that happened will play a major part in later books, but for this book it was mainly just disconnected and random.
The way Robson switched between Lila, Zal, and Malichi was hard to follow. She stopped at odd places in one character’s story and then switched to another character. I just found the switches to be unnatural and, at points, it made the story hard to follow. I also got kind of sick of Lila’s constant whining. It was crazy how she followed what the Agency told her blindly; although this is finally explained late in the book. Zal and Lila barely see each other the whole book and that was also disappointing. Another odd thing was that the game between Zal and Lila (which took up a good portion of Book 1) was rarely mentioned in this book.
There was also a lot that was done well in this book. The descriptions of Demon culture were very interesting. Where “Keeping it Real’ focused on the Elven world, the majority of this book is about Demonia. Also you get to learn a lot more about both Zal’s and Lila’s past. It was great to finally meet some people from their past and learn more about what shaped their backgrounds and drives them. Teesil was an awesome addition to the story, as the lead assassin of Demonia, and I look forward to him being a bigger part of the next book.
The ending of the story was absolutely fantastic; I was impressed with how Robson brought the characters together and set things up for a great book 3. Really the ending was the most exciting part of this book and is the only thing making me interested in reading the next book of the series.
Overall, I have mixed feelings about this book. Some things were awesome, some things not so much. I will read the third book because this book seemed to be setting things up for a great story in the third book.