That this story fails to live up to the hype is so unsurprising that it barely deserves mention. The prose is beautiful, and there are ideas in this story enough to fill three or four lesser works. And I think that is the problem. I do not think that the ideas interact well, or resolve well. This should have been several smaller books, where the ideas could be polished and allowed to sit framed by nothing unrelated to the idea itself. Instead the book is crowded and loud, beautiful but jarringly rowdy, various ideas clamoring for attention. This was I think, intended to be a symphony of its various ideas and stories, but it ends up being several poorly connected songs all sung in the same auditorium.