This was very certainly a novel of ideas; from a shared virtual reality called the Metaverse where hackers rule to the breakdown of nationalism where governments have been replaced by multi national companies, to the psychology of language accqusition in the ancient world, the origin of religion, to, well, lots more, it goes on and on. There were so many ideas jostling for room in there that at times it was a little manic.
Stephenson is good at economical characterization and is able to sketch someone in with just a few details but sometimes I wished he would just take a deep breath and give his characters some room to interact and his plot some time to move forward instead of just scrambling to keep ahead of the waves as concept after big concept got tossed into the mix. Still despite, or maybe at times because of, the frenetic and profligate ideorama, I quite enjoyed this.
Bit like a mental amusement park ride. Not much time to stop and ponder but lots and lots and lots going on, and all of it noisy and energetic.