Echopraxia is by no means a bad book, but it doesn’t exactly deliver on the expectations set by Blindsight. Since it’s a Peter Watts book, expect all kind of good stuff, interesting questions asked, neat ideas and research stuffed into an sfnal design and then explored to some degree, though never as far as you really want things to go.
The book lacks the thematic tightness of its predecessor, at times it feels like it explores the same plot structure and themes with less interesting and new things to say and ends in a – at least for a Peter Watts book – conventional space for its main character, without packing a similar emotional gut punch as his other books often do. Which is kind of odd, since Brüks felt like a reverse Mary Sue of the author himself, much closer in outlook, age and background to Watts than Siri from Blindsight ever was, and yet Watts managed to make the later more relatable than a character he should have even better insight into.
And while it’s pretty clear what Watts is going for – I mean it’s in the title after all – it’s actually not as interesting as it initially sounded (there is only so much and they were all puppets, hoho that one can stand before you stop caring for both plot and characters). Instead it invites endless comparisons to Blindsight’s ruminations on the nature of consciousness, and falls short in pretty much every regard.
It’s still good, but also a disappointment.