Mini-review: Agency, by William Gibson
A brief review of Gibson's latest. (Mild spoilers for his previous book.)
His Neuromancer trilogy was fantastic, but I don't think his subsequent books were as good. That's until The Peripheral arrived: Gibson was back on form. Agency is the sequel, and the third part of the trilogy will be along sometime.
Agency is good, but I don't think it's as good as The Peripheral. It's set in the same overall universe, with the action split between the post-Jackpot world and a "stub": an alternate world where Hilary Clinton won the presidency and Brexit didn't happen. Gibson has a good sense of place and narrates the detail of places, people, and activity. The characters are well-drawn and intriguingly idiosyncratic. The action flips rapidly between the two alternate worlds, with chapters rarely being more than a dozen pages long.
But the plot is lacking a bit, I think. For the book being called Agency, and much being made of characters' ability to act, a lot of the book involves people doing what they're told for unexplained reasons. You can also see various things being put in place for a climax in the third book.
That being said, it was a decent read. I ploughed through it rapidly.