It's somewhere in the 21st century and nations have broken down and enclaves of communities have become the thing. There are those who group together by ethnicity but more often it's by values or other common belief structures. So it is with the Victorian clave but one man in the higher ups, is recognizing that what they fought so hard for when they founded their clave is being lost on the children growing up in it. So in a world of nanotechnology and ractives, he commissions a very special book for his granddaughter, a book like no other to create a story that forces her to think for herself. What he didn't count on was another copy of the book being made and falling into the hands of a child in the Leased Territories (aka slums). What that book became to Nell was more than Lord Finkle-McGraw could have ever expected. It became her one companion and grew in her seeds far beyond imagining.
This was my first time reading Neal Stephenson even though he is an author that my husband truly enjoys but it took this book being picked for book club to actually get me to read him. Overall, I really enjoyed the book. I found it a fairly fast read although it took me a little bit to understand who all the characters where and how they intertwine (since they all do eventually intertwine). I found the subversive underplots interesting but as so many before me have said, the ending was very abrupt and left me wholly unsatisfied. I get that it's supposed to leave things to the imagination but there were just several questions that I felt needed at least a bit more resolution than the none that we got. I've read reviews of his other books online and this seems to be a fairly common thing for him, at least in his first works and it honestly makes me hesitant to read more of his because it was very jarring to my system to be reading and fully immersed and then have ice water dumped on me to bring me back me to reality because it was over with no explanations.
Page count: 499p/28,041p ytd/209,079p lifetime