Review: Ninefox Gambit, Yoon Ha Lee

Rating: 5 out of 5

It was my intention to write this before starting with the next book in the series, but I failed as it was too easy to keep on reading. Nevertheless, the few pages I have gone through thus far haven’t revealed all of the secrets the author left in the air so I hope I am not writing this review with too much of an unfair advantage.

What made this book so interesting to me was the intricate universe that Mr Lee has concocted. I really don’t have a clue why things work — I guess this takes the concept of magic and turns it around. Calendrical warfare. Heretical technology. Remembrance sacrifices. … It’s a good look into what a believing society can look like — but more importantly it is not the gods of the world who are the key, but the only god itself is chronology. How time is kept enables everything…

What an interesting concept… Of course, this is also true in our own world though to a different degree. But, civilizations have different concepts of time and different ways of knowing today. It is something which rarely gets the attention it should, especially as it is one of the few fundamental cultural differences. However, also, imagine if we discriminated based on time…

Mr Lee’s science-fiction thriller kept me captivated throughout. Not only was I invested in understanding the mechanics of his world, but the characters were also captivating. Captain Kel Cheris being perhaps the most captivating of the people, both in her training to become the vehicle — for what, I will let you find out — but also in the choices she makes.

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