The Family Trade by Charles Stross
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
This book starts out as one thing and turns into another, and the two things it is trying to be really don't mesh that well. If I had to sum it up in one sentence, I would call it "Married to the Alternate World-Walking Mob." There are alternate Earths with different history and technology, and a drug-dealing family that walks between them and murders their rivals, like an epic fantasy Medici clan. Miriam Beckstein is unwittingly drawn into this bloody court intrigue that is very much swimming with the megalodon sharks.
Miriam starts out as a journalist and sort of morphs into Jane Bond over the course of the story, and while she is a level-headed, competent character, I am just not that fond of the world Stross sets up. It doesn't help that this book was written 20 years ago and is very dated in spots, referring to the dot-com collapse among other things. This is the first book in the series, and I am not that invested in either the characters or the world to continue.
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