From the publisher’s description, as found on Goodreads:
After the Nova-Insanity shattered Earth’s civilization, the Genes and Fullerenes Corporation promised to bring humanity back from the brink. Many years later, various factions have formed, challenging their savior and vying for a share of power and control.
Glow follows the lives of three very different beings, all wrestling mental instability in various forms; Rex – a confused junkie battling multiple voices in his head; Ellayna – the founder of the GFC living on an orbital satellite station and struggling with paranoia; and Jett – a virtually unstoppable robotic assassin, questioning his purpose of creation.
I think that’s all you really need to know, although the description does go on.
Three beings wrestling mental instability, including a robotic assassin questioning his purpose. Uhhhh…. That alone would suggest that either this is going to be a wild, Philip K. Dick-like tale or a messy conglomerate of ideas. The possibility of the former is what had me excited to read it, but unfortunately it came across as the latter.
There’s a lot going on here … a LOT … but that shouldn’t be a detriment to the story – it should enhance the reader’s desire to put it all together. Unfortunately it is a detriment. We get bogged down in the weight of this world and all the information that we have to receive in order to make sense of it all.And somehow there’s characters in here, involved in the story, but I never felt I got to know them and I certainly cared even less about them.
A big chunk of the plot revolves around ‘Glow’ – a nanotech drug. While there was a pretty interesting facet of this drug (the ability to survive from host to host, carrying portions of the previous host(s) into the next host), I really couldn’t shake the feeling that this was so familiar.
Drugs and drug use in science fiction is not a new concept but it does feel as though we’ve suddenly seen a rash of ‘tech drugs’ in recent sci-fi and I can name three that have come from publisher Angry Robot (Ramez Naam’s Nexus series; Ferrett Steinmetz’s Flex series [okay … not a tech drug, but a high-profile drug around which the series is based]; and Amanda Bridgeman’s Salvi Brentt series’ drugs).
‘Glow’ didn’t feel new and creative but rather a slightly creative rehash of what has gone (recently) before.
Looking for a good book? Glow, by Tim Jordan, is a science fiction novel that tries to encompass too much in a wildly inventive manner and the result is a difficult to read mess.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
* * * * * *
author: Tim Jordan
publisher: Angry Robot
paperback, 400 pages