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Going Under by Justina Robson

Going Under

by Justina Robson

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Quantum Gravity (3)

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Justina Robson's Quantum Gravity series is a romp of an adventure with some depth to it. Following the 'Quantum Bomb' event, alternate worlds of Elves, Demons and Faeries are opened up to ours and humanity has to come to terms with this new reality. The central character is Lila Black, a former foreign office worker who, following a terrible accident, has been rebuilt s a kick-arse cyborg but is also increasingly effected by the magic (or aether) of the other worlds, to which humans are largely oblivious.

It is a strange mix of sci-fi and fantasy that nonetheless works well. There is an obvious debt to fantasy role-playing games; I suspect, for instance, that Robson may have played the wonderful Shadowrun game which similarly links technological sci-fi, magic and folkore, and explores some of the same themes.

And this is not just an adventure tale, there are multiple themes examined and explored - culture clashes and personal identity, the assumption of universality and cultural relativism. Robson is particularly good at portraying Lila's gradual realisation of how utterly alien these other worlds are and the shattering of her cultural assumptions.

This, the third installment, takes us from Daemonia into Faerie, the most purely magical of the worlds. Robson brings together different threads of legend and folklore to construct a shadowland that is recognisable to anyone familiar with the tropes of Celtic legend - a land where time moves differently than our world, where the land and the seasons are aspects of the king and every interaction is predicated on trades and deals that seem designed to trick the unwary - and yet alien. As Lila and her companions moved deeper into this winter world I was reminded of the great [a:Robert Holdstock|72538|Robert Holdstock|https://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1374526882p2/72538.jpg]'s utterly sublime [b:Mythago Wood|126192|Mythago Wood (Mythago Wood, #1)|Robert Holdstock|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1308639607s/126192.jpg|121534] cycle.

While not as good a writer as Holdstock (and that is no slight; I would rank him as one of the greats of modern fantasy) Robson can be a very good writer indeed. She draws character well, especially the facets of these ancient people as they move into a situation that leads to self discovery. There is the occasional clumsiness in the generally good prose, which feels like a drafting or editing problem.

I was a little torn on my rating between 3 and 4 stars. I don't feel I can quite give 4, although I do admit that part of that is that I am comparing this to Robson's earlier work; before the Quantum gravity books she wrote some very hard and very, very good SF ad I kind of would like her to return to that, but I suppose that is simply my personal preference. ( )
  Pezski | Jun 8, 2017 |
This book is exciting, romantic. Love tath and Teazle. again worth it.
( )
  Emmy_Gerard | Jun 3, 2016 |
Not giving it any stars. I don't hate it but I don't not like it either. I just can't get into this book. It might be a frame of mind, so I'll put it back into the 'plan to read'. Check back in a few months and might be able to gobble it up then.
  pnwbookgirl | Feb 7, 2016 |
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  romsfuulynn | Apr 28, 2013 |
GOING UNDER suffers less than SELLING OUT from the difficulty of separated protagonists. Lila, Teazle and Zal come together and then go spinning off into faery, learning more about themselves in the process. Faery did not have as distinct a flavor for me as Alfheim or Demonia, though everyone's regression to their older forms was interesting.

Where SELLING OUT dragged for me, GOING UNDER has restored the series momentum, itching to get to book four. ( )
  Capnrandm | Apr 15, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Justina Robsonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Rostant, LarryCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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An unkempt dawn with ragged louds crept to daybreak in Demonia.
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The fae are beautiful, exotic-- but on the primal level, dangerous tricksters... and the only deals worth making are bloody ones. Lila is a seriously sexy heroine having smart and sexy fun.

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