After Halting State, I decided I really wanted to read this and see if it held up as well against the newest entry in the genre.
The gist of the book is one Robert Gu, almost gone from Alzheimer's comes back - and due to the 'heavenly landmine' is largely rejuvenated. On the downside, he's lost his poetic gift and he has to go back to high school. From there, in his attempts to regain his gift, he gets caught up in a far ranging conspiracy with nasty potential consequences.
Overall, it's not bad. Not as great as when I read it the first time. In fact, you could almost see Halting State occurring in the recent past of Rainbows End. Still, there are neat bits like the changes to medical care and research, the librareome project and belief circles (though I think I favor Halting State's take on it - profit driven). I also liked the idea of the network superiority version of warfare that raises its head in the end of the book.
The viewpoint character of Robert Gu is a good point of view for us from the 20th and early 21st centuries, but I don't find his continuing down the path he did, with the motivations he had (as he realizes the changes in himself) to fit very well.
Anyway, not a bad read.
wow. WOW. What a phenomenal book. This story was so far out, yet believably set just 20-30 years in the future. Not once was I brought up short thinking "nah, that couldn't happen." I was completely sucked in, and I'm left with an ache trying to decide whether I want it to happen, or whether I should work to stop it from happening!