The Quantum Thief: Book summary and reviews of The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi

The Quantum Thief

by Hannu Rajaniemi

The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi

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Book Summary

Jean le Flambeur is a post-human criminal, mind burglar, confidence artist, and trickster. His origins are shrouded in mystery, but his exploits are known throughout the Heterarchy - from breaking into the vast Zeusbrains of the Inner System to stealing rare Earth antiques from the aristocrats of Mars. Now he's confined inside the Dilemma Prison, where every day he has to get up and kill himself before his other self can kill him.

Rescued by the mysterious Mieli and her flirtatious spacecraft, Jean is taken to the Oubliette, the Moving City of Mars, where time is currency, memories are treasures, and a moon-turned singularity lights the night. What Mieli offers is the chance to win back his freedom and the powers of his old self - in exchange for finishing the one heist he never quite managed.

As Jean undertakes a series of capers on behalf of Mieli and her mysterious masters, elsewhere in the Oubliette investigator Isidore Beautrelet is called in to investigate the murder of a chocolatier, and finds himself on the trail of an arch-criminal, a man named le Flambeur….

The Quantum Thief is a crazy joyride through the solar system several centuries hence, a world of marching cities, ubiquitous public-key encryption, people communicating by sharing memories, and a race of hyper-advanced humans who originated as MMORPG guild members. But for all its wonders, it is also a story powered by very human motives of betrayal, revenge, and jealousy. It is a stunning debut.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. The plot itself is straightforward, allowing the mix of multiple narrative styles and viewpoints, elegant world building, and gonzo futurism to astonish without overwhelming." - Publishers Weekly

"Finnish author Rajaniemi's outstanding debut demonstrates a level of complexity and storytelling skill rarely found from even the most experienced authors." - Library Journal

"Starred Review. Spectacularly and convincingly inventive, assured and wholly spellbinding: one of the most impressive debuts in years." - Kirkus Reviews

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Thirty-year-old Hannu Rajaniemi is from Finland and lives in Edinburgh, Scotland, where he is a director of a think tank providing business services based on advanced math and artificial intelligence. He holds a Ph.D. in string theory and is a member of the same writing group that produced Hal Duncan. He wrote The Quantum Thief in English.

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