This book took me a few more pages than normal to get into. There are a lot of concepts in the book that are left up to the imagination of the reader. This includes things like the reason the main character is “Gridlinked” and who he is and what type of military he is. I felt like I’d missed the first book in the series. But because this is Asher’s first book, I’m not sure how that is.
But I didn’t give up on the book, and eventually I got into it. Once I stopped worrying about the aspects of the story that I didn’t understand, it was a lot more fun. The main character, Ian Cormac, is a tough character – a lot like James Bond. Humans have given over most government to AIs and the AIs take better care of the universe than humans ever did. They control a network of “runcibles” that allow for instantaneous transport across the universe.
When one of the runcibles explodes, taking out an entire planet, it appears to be sabotage and Ian Cormac is sent in to solve the problem and figure out who caused it. But he’s being chased by a wealthy psychopath who will do anything and kill anyone to get to Cormac.
I wish this story were more like cyberpunk – but the main character has been linked for too long, so at the very beginning of the story he is removed from the network. So much for the title…. And the “Dragon” is a bit strange.
I’m looking forward to more books by Asher. There are so few books of hard science fiction, and this one, while flawed, was good.