The Trade of Queens

I promised myself I wouldn’t read this book. After I had read book 5 in the series, I lost interest with all the wacky conspiracy angles (and its almost insane portrayal of Bush, Cheney, etc.). While not quite a truther, Stross had Cheney as a former drug kingpin (at least working with a smuggling cartel) manipulating things so he could start a nuclear war, and so on. What had been an interesting premise, seemed to fall into a messy and unclear jumble. But I was in the library and there it was – and when I picked it up it claimed to complete the series (I assume at least this story arc; having read it there are too many unresolved issues to think it’s really done), I thought – I’ll spend a couple of hours and wrap it up.


Well, it didn’t wrap that much up and after Bush is killed in a nuclear bomb (attack incited in part by Cheney), and after Cheney dies of a heart attack (I wonder if the author enjoyed these plot points too much!), and after Rumsfeld takes over (by legitimate succession, I might add) and completes a massive nuclear attack against a technologically backward world (using the attack to give a lesson to the Russians at the same time), I realized that I had indeed wasted a couple of hours in a relatively predictable end to a fairly hackneyed and ham-handed ideological story. It’s too bad – the series didn’t really get there till book 5; the first four were mostly interesting and dealt with some real complexity.

I blame no one but myself. Now I promise myself I will read no further sequels. Please hold me to it.


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