I had so much fun reading this book. I knew absolutely nothing about it going in other than the short description on the (virtual) cover and the fact that it had been nominated for some SF awards. But as soon as I dove in, I knew it was for me: a somewhat Harkaway-an, somewhat Kafkaesque jaunt through a (very) near and all-too-plausible future Europe, which has broken up into numerous new “polities.” Much of the book is set in snowy and often bleak central and eastern Europe: Poland, Berlin and other new Germanic polities, the Baltic countries (and the author certainly seems to know his stuff here, which pleases me). The main character is a multilingual “courier” of sorts, making his way across Europe’s many new borders and, naturally, becoming embroiled in ever-widening conspiracies. This all very much aligns with my interests, as does… [slight spoiler]…the rather delightful left turn the book makes right at the end, hinting at an entirely different kind of story taking place in parallel and setting the scene for the sequels to come. That’s not a spoiler as such, but I liked reading the book without even knowing that there was a kind of “twist” so I wouldn’t want to ruin that pleasure for others. I’m already well into the sequel and very much enjoying this noir speculative fiction romp.