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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on April 6, 2013
The book depends on the use of invented terms and phrases, explained throughout by dictionary references that detract from any hope of a plot developing that one could follow. I could not get enough interest to continue reading past about the first 60 pages or so. It is one of the worse efforts at developing a fantasy world and plot that I have had the misfortune to attempt reading.
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1 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on January 24, 2010
The concept is good, the characters are poorly developed, the issues talked about by these rather boring characters have almost nothing to do with the overall plot. I had the feeling Stephenson was trying to prove how brilliant he is. He succeeded in that and lost any sense of story. I couldn't wait for it to end--so I skimmed the last 100 pages and don't think I missed anything.

I have liked reading his earlier works, but this was like a different author.
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