A while back Jon recommended that I read Diamond Age, which is unusual as I’m usually the one doing the recommending.
This review will be spoiler free, so if you haven’t read the book feel free to read on without worry.
This last weekend, I finished Diamond Age while I was in the Vegas area. Jon had warned me ahead of time that the ending was poor, though not on the same level as Titan by Stephen Baxter.
One of the main reasons I decided to read this (other than Jon’s recommendation) was that I had really enjoyed Snow Crash.
Anyways… the book takes place over about 10 years and introduces a plethora of characters, most of whom eventually fade away, with the lucky ones getting another mention once or twice more before disappearing completely. This was slightly annoying, but you can’t really expect an ending for every character.
The main problem as I saw it was that the book just ends. Yeah we have a bit of a climax, but it just wasn’t particularly satisfying. It sort of reminds me of the ending of the first Matrix movie; while that had a much more defined climax it definitely left it open for the sequels. Now, Diamond Age on the other hand… the book could have used an extra chapter or two. And possibly a sequel.
After having written this, I checked wikipedia and learned that Diamond Age is sort of a sequel to Snow Crash. A better way to say it, might be that they are in the same universe, although apparently at least one character from Snow Crash makes an entry into Diamond Age (see wikipedia link for more info).
So while that is nifty, I’m still not overly impressed with the novel. I don’t regret having read it, but I highly doubt I will ever read it again or give it much of a recommendation to anyone.
In summary, read it if you don’t have anything better to do.