None of the previous reviews address this book's strengths. First, it is one of the better written Shadowrun novels. Second, it's very, very funny. Consider the following: "He jumped into the sidecar just as the box of caviar fell into his lap. 'Hold on to it this time! No using it as a weapon!'" or, "He turned to Stephen and Bruce. 'Thank you gentlemen. Let's have a chat tomorrow about ways we can avoid me being held prisoner in my office for six hours while you play dice with my captors, hmmm?'" Third, I disagree that the book doesn't deal with what makes Shadowrun unique; the book just connects those difference with the human drama that makes all stories work, and in a more subtle way than the regular Shadowrun formula of "inexperienced but good-hearted neophyte with increadible potential comes into his/her powers and saves the world." In this case, the source of the drama is something as base as the will to power. Bannickburn isn't concerned with losing his magical ability, he's concerned with losing the ability that magic gave him to awe, intimidate, and generally get some respect, and he'll take stupid risks to feel the buzz of power again, however he can. The book shows that the path of the burnout is not unique. It's very much like the path of the decker hobbled by psychotropic IC, the path of the street sam whose implants are no longer SOTA, or the path of the corporate Johnson who gets eased out of the most important jobs and gets stuck in a branch office--everybody who runs the shadows wants to be on top, sooner or later they get too old or push too far. Characters really get interesting when they've been knocked off the top, and are out of their element. While it may not appeal to munchkins who want to see a superpowerful mage toss fireballs that level buildings, this is a book I would give to friends who have no interest in Shadowwrun at all--its just a very fun read. I would recommend it to seasoned Shadowrun players interested in how to build psychological depth into characters--and not just add dice to spellcasting rolls--over time. This is a better novel than Born to Run, Poison Agendas, or Fallen Angels. This is Shadowrun at its most interesting.