Meyer does an admirable job of pulling this richly woven tale together. Dystopian take-the-castle efforts compose much of the runtime, with more twists and redirects than forward momentum, and a surprising amount of romance tucked in around the edges. The astonishingly creative and deep description continues, exploring the experiences of mentally ill, disabled and oppressed people, the nature of android and machine interactions with humanity, and political alliances. All the character journeys, relationships, motivations and storylines stream together for a big, if not entirely surprising finish that manages to weave in just one more fairytale retelling for a series already chock full.
Another solid middle entry to the series. The multiple viewpoints feel natural, and the plot twists are thick on the ground. Still top marks for world building and telling details in a uniquely creative setting, touching on subjects such as childhood abuse and isolation as well as the nature of humanity. Romance-y stuff and revolution-y stuff all ramping up for the finale. Engaging read.
Solid second entry. I was thrown by the first chapter introducing a new character/POV to the series, but it was clever the way the author wove the threads of Little Red Riding Hood into the narrative. Still excellent, deep worldbuilding introducing additional locations, but as a middle book in a series, it didn't feel as fresh as the first, or as gripping as later entries are likely to. Enjoyable read.
When I was going through some of the reviews, it almost seemed like everyone was disappointed by The Man From Beijing, but this was not at all the memory I had about the book.
Yes, it is slow paced, and not all the jumps may make a lot of sense, but I still remember it as an interesting story, after the mass murder on the first few pages. Although even I have to admit that the Wallander series stands out.
Side note: I was once able to pass a geography question in high school about Chinese investments into Africa because I'd read this book. ;)