Review: The Quantum Thief – Hannu Rajaniemi

Series: The Quantum thief trilogy #1
Genre: Sci-fi
Pages: 336
Published: Nov 2011 (2010)
Publisher: Gollancz

Jean le Flambeur is a post-human criminal, mind burglar, confidence artist and trickster. His origins are shrouded in mystery, but his exploits are known throughout the Heterarchy – from breaking into the vast Zeusbrains of the Inner System to steal their thoughts, to stealing rare Earth antiques from the aristocrats of the Moving Cities of Mars. Except that Jean made one mistake. Now he is condemned to play endless variations of a game-theoretic riddle in the vast virtual jail of the Axelrod Archons – the Dilemma Prison – against countless copies of himself. Jean’s routine of death, defection and cooperation is upset by the arrival of Mieli and her spidership, Perhonen. She offers him a chance to win back his freedom and the powers of his old self – in exchange for finishing the one heist he never quite managed . 

My thoughts:
The author is Finnish so of course I had to read it, he has also got a Phd in mathematical physics, which shows. I was truly confused by this book at times, but do not get me wrong, it is a well-written book and it shows that it is written by someone who masters the genre. It is wondrous.
I truly do not know where to begin. It was made up from words, and I was lost at times. I felt like I was trapped in a surreal dream. And still it was one of the best sci-fi books I have read, because of the way he wrote. It is a masterful novel and if he continues to write like he does then he will be remembered. 
Later I found the things I had been missing on wikipedia, a glossary of all those terms I had no idea about. Yes he sure made up a lot of things and I did not always understand what they were. Since they were knew and he did not always spell it out. So an advice would be, check wikipedia. It will help a bit. Rajaniemi knew his world, and better than I did for sure. But if you just go with the flow you will be alright.
But do not ask me what the book is about, there are twists and turns, Mieli who has kidnapped our thief does not explain what she needs either. So we are thrown into a world and Jean needs to find his memories from before so he can figure things out. And just as he is confused what is going on, so are we. And at the end things starts coming together and secrets are brought out in the open, and I was surprised.
I also liked that he used a few Finnish words as names, and more. Yes, I truly liked that. Not to mention that it gave me more insight since they had a meaning too.
I have confused you all now haven’t I? Just let me say that this is a sci-fi book to read, the world is pieced together masterfully and you get a detective/adventure story all in one. It would make one kicking movie.

33 thoughts on “Review: The Quantum Thief – Hannu Rajaniemi

  1. Jenny says:

    Good to know that despite all the terms and concepts that were confusing that you still loved the story overall. I'm super challenged at anything math or science related, so I have no doubt I'll be lost at times while reading this one too!

  2. Nina says:

    I agree about the cover. It's not that great. I haven't read a lot of Sci-fi books and I should read more. I'm not sure if this is right for me, but I'm glad you enjoyed it. πŸ™‚

  3. Blodeuedd says:

    JennyIt was more that he made up a lot of words and that lost me…ok if he had used real ones I would have been lost still ;)Mrs QIt might not be for everyoneNinaAt least it does look, and from sci-fi I do not expect much

  4. Mel says:

    Considering I studied physics I don't read a lot of science fiction like this, but I like your confusion enough to look into The Quantum Thief again! πŸ™‚

  5. Blodeuedd says:

    Mel,Lol, it was the words and I do admit to asking bf what quantum was again, arghh, bad me, that I should know ;)You studied physics!? Wow, I hated that subject and math with a passionStephIt was not a lot to read at the wiki site, it was just a perfect glossary over the terms he came up with. It would have been awesome if it had been in the bookAurianLOLCarolPerhaps, perhaps not

  6. Simcha says:

    I chickened out, after reading this book, and gave it to someone else to review because I had no idea what to say about it. It was pretty mind bending, but also very confusing. I'm still not exactly sure what happened at the end.

  7. Missie says:

    *scratches head* Yeah, I'm confused. LOLBut I live on wikipedia. I love knowing facts, though I'm not very good at math or science. I'm more into history. LOLStill, the book sounds great. Good for you for giving it a go despite it being quite the challenge.

  8. Blodeuedd says:

    NaidaI would not say it is too technical, I mean it is sci-fi so it is as sci-fi should be.SimchaLol, you and me both. I am not sure if I understood half of the book, but for some reason it was still so good. No idea how he did that, and honestly no idea if my review even makes sense. ChrisLol, now you get it.melissaHaha, yes I at least can sure be lazy πŸ˜‰ And so fun to read this book by him and so glad he wrote it in English cos else I would not have understood a word.

  9. Blodeuedd says:

    MissieHistory rocks, I aced that. Math and physics, eh, I did fail a bit there *coughs*Something in it made me read it even if I was confused, I think one should read it twize even.YvonneThanks :)JulieHaha, yes a very eh indeedVivDunno why sci-fi is harder, it is not the technical stuff, I have watched enough Star Trek to just roll by, it is the made-up words. In fantasy it works for me, but here I just can't roll along

  10. Blodeuedd says:

    AnaTo you I definitely say, Go for it :DJenny Qit was certainly differentMelissaLol, I would have to have a dictionary that he wrote then since I would not find those words otherwise ;)ElysiumWell he is Finnish, so for that you should have a look πŸ˜‰

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