Immortality! In the age of unlimited stellar computing power and virtual reality, it at last seems possible. When your body wears out, you can be uploaded into the Metaform and then downloaded into a new bio-frame (i.e. a biologically enhanced human body). But the incorporeal personalities within the mainframe also have a life of their own within the mainframe.
This book is a complex mesh of temporally dislocated, interlocking plots, which tend to confuse the reader at times. Founders of the Metaform, Connor and Meilinn, and some others leave their bodies to enter into the system with a view to direct things from inside. Tobias, his son Gabriel, Errik, Jared and others form a terrorist group disguised as a religious order, which is determined to sabotage the Metaform and thus save mankind. A glitch occurs while Major Paul Pearson is being uploaded. He tries unsuccessfully to revive his daughter Cara, who died as a child, but gets partially merged with the uploaded ‘personality’ of Connor’s dog Tarquin, which predictably causes some havoc.
The idea behind this story is mind bogglingly bizarre but is presented rather realistically and somewhat frighteningly, as we are led to imagine all of humanity being manipulated by a few powerful minds, who decide whether people are to be reincarnated, put into long-term storage or eliminated.
Gabriel ends up getting merged with Errik, then meets 300-year old Meilinn, and is downloaded into a bio-form intended for someone else. Connor dissolves himself into the mainframe, which is beginning to take on a sentient personality of its own and decides to abandon the whole human race.
Some of the details were not very plausible and the end was disappointing, as it left too much unresolved.