rating: 4 of 5 stars
This book knocked my socks off. It's not what I expected. Looking at the back of the book, I figured "Rock Stars take over England, it'll be a romp." No. This is an often brutal and savage book, with many scenes of tenderness as well. This is a strong, character driven novel with plenty of plot twists and political turmoil.
There are three protagonists , although Fioridna gets the most Point of View time, especially at the start. She is a singer at war with the founder of her own band, but that's nothing compared to her other problems. Sage is the leader of a band of serious lunatics (they all were hologram "masks" of skulls over their heads). Ax is a guitar hero who has been thinking of leading England for a long time. As Great Britain falls apart, they find themselves riding a wave of counterculture dissent into political power. But who is really in charge, and can any good come of this?
The near future world building is very cool. More cool than realistic, which makes a great story, but not a probable future. The tech is very interesting, but low key. This is a story of characters in an exciting and exceptional setting.
The only science fiction readers I wouldn't recommend this to is anyone struggling with addition. There is a ton of drug use, and even though it's been decades, it made me think "ooh, that sounds fun." Except for the hurling scenes.
This is the first book in a series, but it does stand alone fairly well. I thought it was a stand alone book until very near the end, when Gwyneth Jones kept reminding me of the plot threads that hadn't been tied up yet.
I look forward to reading more.
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