My review of Blood Music by Greg Bear

Blood Mucis cover

In the tradition of the greatest cyberpunk novels, Blood Music explores the imminent destruction of mankind and the fear of mass destruction by technological advancements. The novel follows present-day events in which the fears concerning the nuclear annihilation of the world subsided after the Cold War and the fear of chemical warfare spilled over into the empty void it left behind. An amazing breakthrough in genetic engineering made by Vergil Ulam is considered too dangerous for further research, but rather than destroy his work, he injects himself with his creation and walks out of his lab, unaware of just how his actions will change the world. Author Greg Bear’s treatment of the traditional tale of scientific hubris is both suspenseful and a compelling portrait of a new intelligence emerging amongst us, irrevocably changing our world. 

3 Stars

I very much liked the concept of the story. I liked the characters. But there were things I didn’t like about it as well. One of which was the lack of a main character throughout the story, it made the narrative a little disjointed and somewhat hard to get emotionally involved with the characters. The closest we get was Bernard. I also didn’t like the introduction of Jerry and John 2/3 of the way through the book. Really, the brothers could have been completely left out of the story. The part with the reporter Upton reminded me of The War of the Worlds radio show. Though I enjoyed the book, I think I liked the short story better. Some of his later works I liked a little better, like Slant and Darwin’s Radio. As he has gained more experience his story telling has gotten better.

The eBook was formatted OK with a couple of minor spelling errors. The biggest problem was the lack of control over the type size. It was either really tiny or really large with no in-between.

EDIT: After reflecting on my review/rating I decided to make a change. I originally struggled with deciding between 3 and 4 stars. While I liked the book, I think the flaws were significant enough to drop it down from 4 to 3 stars.