The Quantum Thief
Written by: Hannu Rajaniemi
Reviewed by: Brad Williamson
Genre: Soft Science-Fiction
The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi is, at the very least, something fresh and new that will keep you entertained. The closest recent analog to Rajaniemi’s style is Yoon-Ha Lee (이윤하), so if you liked Ninefox Gambit and the rest of its trilogy, then you’ll probably fall right into loving Quantum Thief.
Rajaniemi is very adept at conveying extremely complex ideas and future concepts in very few words. He uses his settings and backdrops to contextualize his predictions and theories in a way that, even if you don’t understand the words he’s creating, you can easily comprehend the situations and events.
His pacing is also entertaining, combining characters and storylines smoothly. He often switches between points of view with no warning and seemingly little purpose, but it’s never annoying or confusing. Each time it happens, you trust that he’s transitioning for a reason, and that trust is never broken.
The book is a wild, interesting ride that I absolutely loved, until the end. I don’t usually mind if a book’s conclusion fails to live up to my expectations, but these final chapters felt rushed, confusing in a way that the rest of the book avoided, and unfulfilling. I know it’s part of a trilogy, but it was definitely a self-contained arc that could have ended better in my opinion.
I loved the book and will read the rest of the series, as well as any future work by Rajaniemi, but the ending of this one holds it back from being truly great. Still, recommended with great confidence to any fan of science-fiction, adventure, mystery, or good heist stories.