William Gibson
Agency Cover



I'm in two minds about this book. I initially rated it 3 stars, but I'm tempted to drop my rating down to 2 stars now. (Please note: 3 stars for me is what I consider "average", 2 stars is "disappointing.") The longer I think about the story, the more disappointed I feel. It has some cool ideas, but unfortunately they don't really go anywhere. The plot is pretty basic and the characters mostly forgettable. Thinking back on it, I'm struggling to remember the characters' names outside of the main character Verity and the A.I. Eunice.

The chapters are short and there are many of them, over one hundred chapters in a 403 page book. Gibson's prose is crisp and succinct, even if some of the neologisms went over my head at times-a common trait of Gibson's fiction. The dialog is always readable and feels "real", but if I'm being critical, except for Eunice it began to sound like it was being spoken by the same person.

Like The Peripheral before it, Agency is a book that requires total focus when you are reading it. It's not a book to relax with on the beach. It is dense and confusing for the first hundred or so pages. To be honest, it was difficult to keep track of who was who and where or when they were. It took me a while to figure out who was in which timeline, and whether it was the present or the future. But it did become easier to follow after that. I've read in other reviews that this frustrated a lot of readers with some struggling to keep reading.

In conclusion, this is only a recommend for Gibson fans. As one critic pointed out in their review on Amazon UK, "Not quite his best, but still well ahead of the competition." In other words, a disappointing book by Gibson is still better than a lot of other current genre books. What do you think?