I started out not at all sure I was going to like this one. I've read a few books in the past year that seem to have some commonalities, they are set in the near future and they are intricate and interesting and full of literary craft but they are also pretty fascinated with the perverse, the brutal, the grotesque, with cruelty and failure and stupidity among the predatory and the self destructive. Which fine, if that's what a writer wants to be fascinated with, more power to him, but its not for me. I just start to get bored and annoyed and feel like I'm being droned on at by an intellectualized version of a kid who likes to pull the wings off of flies.
For awhile I thought that's where this was going too. So I was feeling pretty dang squinty eyed about it. But no, it went in a different and much more interesting direction. There was a fantastic integration of futuristic elements, so seamless that they almost seemed not to be futuristic at all. The characters began to do interesting things instead of just lying about being defeated and nihilist, threads started to knit up with other threads, connections started to get made between different groups of individuals in complex and unexpected ways. Also there were toy robots, and really who can resist that?