Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Restoration Game by Ken Macleod: Review by AimeeKay

There is no such place as Krassnia. Lucy Stone should know—she was born there. In that tiny, troubled region of the former Soviet Union, revolution is brewing. Its organizers need a safe place to meet, and where better than the virtual spaces of an online game? Lucy, who works for a start-up games company in Edinburgh, has a project that almost seems made for the job: a game inspired by The Krassniad, an epic folk tale concocted by Lucy’s mother, Amanda, who studied there in the 1980s. Lucy knows Amanda is a spook. She knows her great-grandmother Eugenie also visited the country in the ’30s, and met the man who originally collected Krassnian folklore and who perished in Stalin’s terror. As Lucy digs up details about her birthplace to slot into the game, she finds the open secrets of her family’s past, the darker secrets of Krassnia’s past—and hints about the crucial role she is destined to play in The Restoration Game... 
Combining international intrigue with cutting-edge philosophical speculation, romance with adventure, and online gaming with real-life consequence, The Restoration Game delivers as science fiction and as a sharp take on our present world from the viewpoint of a complex, engaging heroine who has to fight her way through a maze of political and family manipulation to take control of her own life.

So I really didn't enjoy this one. You've got intrigue, suspense, some science fiction/fantasy thrown in, but I really think it could have been better than what it turned out to be.

There was just too much.

Too many flashbacks. The main character was constantly going back to explain to how she got to the present situation, which isn't necessarily bad, but the whole story from the main characters point of view started out as a flashback to explain how she ended up where she was at the airport. I understand some of the flashbacks are needed to further the story, but they just started to feel annoying after a while especially since she is already in the middle of a flashback. Couldn't the author just have gone straight through with some of them? Told them "as they happened"?

Too much information, I mean really I like a good back story on my characters as the next person, but some of it was just a little overboard. Especially when the author is revealing information about Lucy's "fathers". I just felt like I was wading through molasses trying to read it. I didn't want to gloss over it, I was afraid I might miss an important detail, but at the same time it just got to the point where I really wished I could have.

And the things that really could have been intriguing. The "real" world. The scenes that dealt with them were cut agonizingly short. Hardly any details, nothing. Told in second person they had no real details of the "real" world. I really would have enjoyed more background on that then on some of the other characters.

I liked the idea behind the story. Maybe if it had been written differently I would have enjoyed it more.

Til Next Time,


  1. I confess I didn't know this one, and I'm sorry it wasn't for you but now I think I'll pass if I find it.

  2. A few good flashbacks can be helpful, but too many... yea, that would have been annoying. Sorry that one wasn't for you. I really was hoping it would be good.

  3. Sorry that this wasn't all you hoped it would be. Looking at the cover I expected this to have been a graphic comic-style read that was set in either China or Japan.

  4. Eh, does not sound like the book for me. Too many flashbacks are just too many in the end

  5. Well, I am always complaining about not enough detial, and I guess there is a thing as too much. This doesn't appeal to me, either. Thanks for the honest review!

  6. I completely understand what you're saying about too much AimeeKay! I just finished a book where I felt the exact same way, I just couldn't get into it because there was so much going on. I'll pass on this one, but I enjoyed reading your review!

  7. Bummer, I'm sorry this one wasn't for you. I know how disappointing that can be. Luckily there are plenty more books to pick from! :-) Happy reading!!

  8. Doesn't seem like my kind of book. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Way too much info dumping can really slow a story down for me. Most of the time it's just not necessary and can be conveyed more economically through other means.

  10. I'd never heard of it but the premise sounded interesting. Too bad it didn't work out for you.

  11. I was thinking when I first read the cover that it would be something I would be interested in....*shrug* oh well. It wasn't bleach my brain bad, I just couldn't get into it and felt it could have been told differently.

    Thanks for reading my reviews! Even the negative ones! Lovin' the comment love! :)


Thanks for commenting! I ❤ comments!