Shelf Control #301: Too Like the Lightning by Ada Palmer

Shelves final

Welcome to Shelf Control — an original feature created and hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies.

Shelf Control is a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up! For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out my introductory post, here.

Want to join in? Shelf Control posts go up every Wednesday. See the guidelines at the bottom of the post, and jump on board!

Title: Too Like the Lightning (Terra Ignota, #1)
Author: Ada Palmer
Published: 2016
Length: 433 pages

What it’s about (synopsis via Goodreads):

Mycroft Canner is a convict. For his crimes he is required, as is the custom of the 25th century, to wander the world being as useful as he can to all he meets. Carlyle Foster is a sensayer–a spiritual counselor in a world that has outlawed the public practice of religion, but which also knows that the inner lives of humans cannot be wished away.

The world into which Mycroft and Carlyle have been born is as strange to our 21st-century eyes as ours would be to a native of the 1500s. It is a hard-won utopia built on technologically-generated abundance, and also on complex and mandatory systems of labeling all public writing and speech. What seem to us normal gender distinctions are now distinctly taboo in most social situations. And most of the world’s population is affiliated with globe-girdling clans of the like-minded, whose endless economic and cultural competition is carefully managed by central planners of inestimable subtlety. To us it seems like a mad combination of heaven and hell. To them, it seems like normal life.

And in this world, Mycroft and Carlyle have stumbled on the wild card that may destablize the system: the boy Bridger, who can effortlessly make his wishes come true. Who can, it would seem, bring inanimate objects to life…

How and when I got it:

I picked up the Kindle edition about three years ago.

Why I want to read it:

I’ve been keeping my eye on this series ever since I first stumbled across it. Now complete, with four books in total, I have fewer excuses for not starting!

The series overview, from the publisher’s website:

Just this week, I shared my series reading goals for 2022, and I didn’t think to include this one — but I do still intend to get to these books. I’m intriguing by the sound of the world and the political structures, and want to know more about the conspiracy and the special child.

What do you think? Would you read this book (and/or the series)?

Please share your thoughts!


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Want to participate in Shelf Control? Here’s how:

  • Write a blog post about a book that you own that you haven’t read yet.
  • Add your link in the comments or link back from your own post, so I can add you to the participant list.
  • Check out other posts, and…

Have fun!

8 thoughts on “Shelf Control #301: Too Like the Lightning by Ada Palmer

  1. Ever since Ada Palmer did a guest post on my blog, I’ve been wanting to try this series. I guess I’m a little intimidated, but I keep hearing such good things😁

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