A review by shawcrit
Central Station by Lavie Tidhar


I found it really difficult to get into this one. As others have noted, this is more a set of linked stories than a novel. I found myself connecting to one or two characters and narratives, while others just didn't interest me, and I wasn't really provided enough time or backstory to become engaged. That said, there are a lot of interesting things going on here, so I might return to this one and see if I like it more the second time.

Because of the diversity of the stories, Tidhar manages to engage with a variety of issues common to science fiction, including ethnic conflict and prejudice, bioethics (cyborgs, genetic modification), and the impacts of technology ("the Conversation" = most people are constantly plugged into a collective digital 'radio' that allows them to communicate with others and listen in to others' 'feeds' while they go about their day in the material world).

I found the reworking of the strigoi particularly fascinating as a metaphor; if you are into vampire stories, this book has a really interesting and unique take.

The writing, too, is often beautiful, and I think this book succeeds best at creating an atmosphere: it is very easy to imagine the richness and vibrancy of Central Station, and in that regard it is a great success.