25 March 2013

Review: The Mirage

The Mirage
The Mirage by Matt Ruff

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love a good alternate history/reality story, and the idea behind The Mirage piqued my interest quite a bit, as it was an alternate take on the 11 September attacks as if it were a non-unified Christian American fundamentalist group that hijacked planes and sent them into towers in Baghdad.

There's a lot of great things about this book. The concept alone works great, but there's a lot more for that. There's faux-Wikipedia entries for a lot of the history and people involved in the time frame, we get alt-universe appearances by all the major players as well as some surprises, and there's even some aspects of the story that crossed genres that I didn't expect.

What works well for me, though, was that the book was definitely political in nature in a lot of ways, but not in a way that the ideas didn't work. You end up chuckling at the connections as opposed to being offended if you don't quite agree, and I assume the same reaction in the other direction. It's really solid.

Really, the book is just because there were a lot of great ideas in a firmly executed concept. I had a ton of fun seeing how Ruff decided to go about the story, trying to predict what might be coming next, and seeing what crossovers worked and what kind of parallels between universes Ruff drew. It's really something I think everyone would like, especially if you think geopolitical thrillers or high-concept mainstream fiction can be your thing.

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