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Equations of Life by Simon Morden
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Equations of Life (original 2011; edition 2011)

by Simon Morden

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1981159,376 (3.91)7
Member:enrique_molinero
Title:Equations of Life
Authors:Simon Morden
Info:Orbit (2011), Edition: 1, Mass Market Paperback, 400 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:science fiction, dystopia, cyberpunk

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Equations of Life by Simon Morden (2011)

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Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
Very cool story, warring mafia, hard core science, post apocalyptic London and a burned out Russian math geek thrown in to save the day. ( )
  LJMax | Aug 21, 2015 |
Loved this book! Great dystopian novel. Samuil Petrovitch is a Russian ex-pat living in the London Metrozone after an apocalypse, that we're told little about, has occurred some years in the past. He's a grad student in physics and about to solve the problem of time travel with a colleague. Then something happens. He gets involved. He notices a beautiful young lady about to be kidnapped and possibly assassinated and grabs her. A chase ensues and they escape. The police get involved, of course. Turns out she's the daughter of the biggest Japanese mobster there is and the Russian mob was out to get her. Now there's a price on his head.

The book is one major chase scene after another through a rapidly deteriorating London. In the midst of this, he meets Maddy, a young Amazonian nun with the biggest gun he's ever seen. They become partners. See, the girl he saved does end up getting kidnapped after all and he vows to save her. In the meantime, something called the New Machine Jihad starts tearing the city apart, with all of the electronics going crazy. He comes close to dying I don't know how many times and many people do die in this book, but it's not overly gross. I was reading Jack Womack's Ambient at the same time, another dystopian novel that I really enjoyed, but I was seriously glad to be done with it because its violence was so insane. Not so with this book. My only real complaint with this book was the ages of the primary characters. Petrovich and Maddy are both about 20 and the girl he saved, Sonja, was about 17. Yet all have the emotional and mental abilities of people much older, in their mid-30s perhaps, as well as academic and work qualifications. Not totally believable there.

I don't want to give away the plot ending and apparently there are two sequels, so I put them on my Amazon Wish List, as I really enjoyed this book and want to read more. I can see why this won the Philip K. Dick award. It's not really cyberpunk, although it's got some elements of it. It was published in 1987, so technology was more limited then. Still, the author did foresee some things, which was pretty cool. If you like this type of novel, try it out -- you won't be disappointed. Recommended. ( )
  scottcholstad | Jun 4, 2015 |
An engaging story - not quite as polished as Curve of the Earth but still very good. I ordered the next two in the series while only halfway through this one! ( )
  rlangston | Apr 24, 2014 |
See the full review on Short & Sweet Reviews.

The action in Equations of Life is virtually non-stop, from the moment when Sam Petrovitch makes the split-second decision to save Sonja Oshicora from being kidnapped by a rival mob, until the very end, where every character has been battered and bruised and significantly worse for wear. I could easily see this be made into an action movie, with some pretty awesome special effects: there are explosions, sentient machinery, train wrecks, car chases, gun fights, and more.

Sam is an interesting choice for an action hero -- in some ways, he reminds me of Matt Farrell from Live Free or Die Hard. Sam's a tech and physics genius with a bum heart; he's not the kind of guy you'd expect to go running for his life through an increasingly dangerous city just to prove a point. He's a loner whose sole friend seems to be a fellow PhD student named Pif, who focuses on her work with an incredibly strong single-mindedness. He's foul-mouthed and sarcastic and is, of course, harboring some pretty dark secrets. It's perhaps a bit easier to connect with Sam than your traditional lead in an action story because, despite the dark past, he's much more of an every-man, the kind of nerdy kid you pass in the halls at school and don't give much of a second thought to. ( )
  goorgoahead | Dec 4, 2013 |
so many strong women, still fails the Bechdel test ( )
  ansate | Jan 1, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0316125180, Mass Market Paperback)

Winner of the 2012 Philip K. Dick Award

Samuil Petrovitch is a survivor.

He survived the nuclear fallout in St. Petersburg and hid in the London Metrozone - the last city in England. He's lived this long because he's a man of rules and logic.

For example, getting involved = a bad idea.

But when he stumbles into a kidnapping in progress, he acts without even thinking. Before he can stop himself, he's saved the daughter of the most dangerous man in London.

And clearly saving the girl = getting involved.

Now, the equation of Petrovitch's life is looking increasingly complex.

Russian mobsters + Yakuza + something called the New Machine Jihad = one dead Petrovitch.

But Petrovitch has a plan - he always has a plan - he's just not sure it's a good one.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:03:17 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Samuil Petrovitch is an anti-social Russian ‚emigr‚e in the overcrowded, decaying urban jungle of the London Metrozone. Going against his customary principle of "don't get involved," Petrovitch surprises himself one day by performing an uncharacteristically kind act, which results in his being propelled into a world of rival gang lords, exiled yakuza, crooked cops, crazed prophets, and gun-toting warrior nuns.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

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