Thursday, June 19, 2008

I just finished The Hidden Family by Charles Stross, the 2nd book in his Merchant Princes series.

I liked this one better than the first book in the series, The Family Trade. If you've read that one, but found it only marginally interesting, try this one. If, on the other hand, you're interested in this one, read the other one first. They are short books and they are really one continuing story.

The first book felt like a lot of setup with little payoff, which is probably why I liked this one better. There is still some setup, as Stross complicates the story, but the book is focused on resolving some of the mysteries raised in the first book and advancing the characters.

The first book mixes a modern day world and a medieval one, and this book introduces some steampunk elements as well. I've liked other books by Stross (see here and here), but I had mixed feelings about this series until now. Based on this latest book, I will keep reading.

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