WarningMight contain spoilers.

In keeping with the title, I read the book with all the speed of a glacier, due to other obligations, and almost quit it early on. I’m glad I didn’t: this is a story that patiently assembles all the ingredients, moves inexorably towards a clear conclusion, then pulls the rug out from under the reader in one fell swoop. The revelation that it was Lore’s mother who abused her is brilliantly unexpected. It harnesses all the right tropes and expectations.

Lore’s personal relationship with Spanner isn’t as interesting as the fascinating discussions of water treatment, and there’s a fair bit of gratuitous sex in there (although that’s hardly uncommon). It’s a bit disappointing that she falls in love with her rescuer, who has power over her, and then with the first smart person she meets after that.

The descriptions of light and colour are interesting in the beginning. They lose their efficacy as the story progresses, so it’s just as well that they appear less frequently.