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Neal Stephenson
Adult Fiction STEPHEN

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Stephenson (Anathem), the master of meandering, inconclusive plots, delivers a sprawling thriller that shows him in complete control of his story, regardless of the many digressions and a host of characters. Zula Forthrast's unfortunate taste in boyfriends catapults her into a breakneck adventure spanning two continents and several increasingly dangerous criminal gangs. What looks like a chance to make a quick buck turns sour when the Russian mafia discover that Zula's conniving boyfriend, Peter, inadvertently handed their representative a virus-infected thumb drive that holds all of the mafia's encrypted data. Peter and Zula find themselves prisoners of the menacing and desperate Ivanov and dragged to Xiamen, China, in a last-ditch effort to confront the hackers responsible before Ivanov's bosses learn what has happened. Complications ensue when the gangsters raid an apartment belonging not to the rather hapless hackers but instead to the notorious terrorist Abdallah Jones and his well-armed compatriots, into whose hands Zula falls. The plot snowballs from there, toward a violent conclusion near the U.S.-Canadian border. Author tour. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

From Library Journal:

After the best-selling Anathem, Stephenson's latest blockbuster introduces Dodge Forthrast, a legendary gamer, famous for his illegal past and for T'Rain, the hugely successful real-time strategy game he created. When teenage hackers in China unleash a computer virus named Reamde in T'Rain, the virus interrupts the daily business of the criminal underworld, who use the virtual world of T'Rain to launder real-world dollars. The plot intensifies both inside the game and around the globe, as gamers, fantasy writers, and hackers try to outplay a wide range of bad guys including the Russian mob, Islamic terrorists, and MI6. VERDICT Stephenson continues to deliver cyberthrillers packed equally with detailed backstory and action adventure. It is a great crossover recommendation for sf readers interested in thrillers and for fans of spy novels who appreciate intricate plotlines and technical detail. [See Prepub Alert, 3/14/11.]-Catherine Lantz, Morton Coll. Lib., Cicero, IL (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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