The War of the Maps

paperback, 432 pages

Published May 3, 2021 by Gollancz.

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4 stars (1 review)

On a giant artificial world surrounding an artificial sun, one man - a lucidor, a keeper of the peace, a policeman - is on the hunt. His target was responsible for an atrocity, but is too valuable to the government to be truly punished. Instead he has been sent to the frontlines of the war, to use his unique talents on the enemy. So the lucidor has ignored orders, deserted from his job, left his home and thrown his life away, in order to finally claim justice. Separated by massive seas, the various maps dotted on the surface of this world rarely contact each other. But something has begun to infiltrate the edges of the lucidor's map, something that genetically alters animals and plants and turns them into killers. Only the lucidor knows the depths to which his quarry will sink in order to survive, only the lucidor can capture …

2 editions

Imaginative and enjoyable

4 stars

This was the first book I have read by Paul McAuley, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I read a review somewhere that said he was the most imaginative sci-fi author in Britain today, and whilst there might be other contenders for that title (Peter Hamilton, perhaps?) it certainly sounded worth giving him a try. I was not disappointed. War of the maps is very imaginative and it also has a good plot and well-developed character to boot. I particularly enjoyed his use of ant biology in the plot. McAuley quotes Terry Pratchett at one point ("Or have things so degenerated in your sandy scourhole of a country that you think you live on a flat plate riding on the back of a turtle, or some such nonsense?"), which is certainly enough to put him in my good books as well as a passing reference to a famous evolutionary biologist ("but …