This book was much more interesting than I thought it would be. It's been a while since I've read a one book story in science fiction/fantasy. Most of them these days are multi-book series. I am very impressed with this book.It also is very scary because what is written under the guise of science fiction and future possibilities is in fact just almost what is going on in our world today. None of what Bear postulates is impossible or even very far off. It could be happening today. The story is one of hard-working and also some rogue FBI agents trying to get ahead of a world disaster destroying civilization on our planet. And though it does occur after 9/11 and another fictional horrible terrorist attack - this one is one of those things that starts in our country and threatens the world with not much of a technological boost from where we currently are. Bears calls this a "cautionary tale."
Bear writes in his afternote " The biological weapons an processes in this novel are possible, but not in the way I have described them.I have tried to persuade of the dangers without providing salient details.
The dangers are real and immediate. Sober judgment, selfless, non-partisan planning, and sanity are the only solutions." He goes on after that - but you will see it when you read it.
The story touches on the politics of the day and the troubles within the security agencies of our country but doesn't detail any of the politics that interferes in the telling of the danger that we face as a world. So don't go into this book thinking you are going to be reading about Washington,D.C. and the military and spies. It is really a simple story told from various viewpoints of the different sides involved. It really doesn't take long to get into the meat of the story and at least I read it in less than a day. The main portion of the book is 443 pages with a deleted chapter at the end and a section on Bear's experience with think tanks as well as an interview with him by the publisher's team. There is also a bibliography he used.
A twisted look at the possible future of politics, terrorism and those who try to do the right thing in spite of it. A good read but not for the squimish.
Second book by Greg Bear that I've read -- the first one was "City at the End of Time." This one was quite different, being more of a contemporary tale than the other. I thought it well done, gripping, and more probable than most of the science fiction I've read.
Bear's near future look at the FBI is enjoyable, but less successful than his big-picture novels.
Greg Bear normally writes SciFi, which I also read, but this is a contemporary mystery / suspense. I really enjoyed it.
A great thriller about domestic based terrorism by a master Sci-Fi writer. I throughly enjoyed it.