Rasputin's Bastards by David Nickle
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Damn. Just damn.
Nickle has a lot going on in this book, with layers upon layers of reality and not reality, such that you should probably not do what I did and go a long period between chapters, if you want to grasp everything happening here. As it is, this novel is the sort that lends itself to re-reading because the second and subsequent readings will provide much more depth (and recollection of which character is which and the relationships among them) than the first go-round. But the result is worth the effort: Nickle weaves a fine story here that dips into everything from Cold War-era spying to the nature of reality itself. Or at least that's what I got from it -- I have a feeling that different readers will have different takeaways. Some will focus on matters of mind control, others the mystery and suspense, still others will meditate on the dangers of true believers, whether they believe in a deity, power, or simply the lining of their own pockets (or, heaven forbid, all three). And therein lies the brilliance of the book -- its complexity while nonetheless telling a fascinating tale that will capture readers attention and imagination.
In interest of total disclosure, I obtained a free e-book from the publisher via a friend who works with them.
View all my reviews