The book begins with an engaging future concept and writing. I was drawn into the story of a woman returning to revive her cryogenically stored husband - and the suggestion that cryogenics had somehow been forced to operate secretly. The woman, Katie, is now 64 after waiting 30 years for a way to restore Tom. Chapter 2 tells us the story 30 years earlier of Tom's mortal injuries, the family controversy over the plan to have Tom cryogenically stored, the "secret" that Tom had only agreed in the past to sign up with the cryogenics company to please Katie, etc. Most of the rest of the book then proceeds to tell us chronologically what happened between Tom's death and the events in Chapter 1.
Personally, I found the recounting of those 30 years to feel too stretched out. During that time Katie leads an important life and society deals with social divisions and issues arising out of growing population, growing use of resources, growing environmental issues, etc. Where the world goes from here and the unfolding of those kinds of crises are important themes in SF - thinking about such issues is what makes SF an essential area of literature. Nevertheless, it seemed drawn-out to me. Perhaps, that's because of the first chapter. It was sort of false advertising to begin the book towards the end of the story with the implication we'd have a different version of the story than the one we got. As I said, the second chapter had a lot in it - it could have been a strong beginning. But someone decided that beginning with that one chapter from the latter part of the story would be more effective in holding readers.
That upsets me. In order to sell more copies of the book they've taken a chapter out of sequence because the chapter's implied path of the book was thought to be more appealing to more people. And yet, that implied story is not what they gave us. If they started from the chronological beginning (Chapter 2), they would have had a strong beginning and given a more honest suggestion of what was to come.
In any case, during those 30 years, many people are concerned about the future of the world. Concerned in a way which has a sadly mistaken direction (and, perhaps, sadly realistic in what might occur in the real world). The key players aren't involved in maintaining the human population at a sustainable level, providing a sustainable source of food, housing, employment and energy, or otherwise creating those kinds of solutions. Rather, we see fighting over who gets how big a slice of the pie. We have Tom's sister (a US Senator) trying to halt technological developments that would result in more demands on resources. As I said, this may be realistic, but it's dismal - especially in view of US politics in 2011.
This kind of extrapolation of where the world will go from here, what current trends will be the major influences in the future, and what the possible paths suggest we should do today to avoid the worst outcomes - these are important themes for SF. I didn't find this book's presentation of this kind of theme to satisfy my personal psyche. But some of this is just an individual reaction.
When Tom's sister fails to legislate restrictions on technology, the quasi-Luddite forces attracted to such approaches evolve into extremist and even terrorist groups. The authorities aren't making real solutions and these others are making things worse.
Meanwhile, we also see Katie's personal life. Making it possible for Tom to be revived is a central part of her life - one motivated by her love. But over the years, she becomes involved with another man. That relationship is strained by the man's feeling that Katie is still more strongly bound to Tom. This is a good question about what happens to the relationships of those who were close to people who had to be cryogenically stored. It's a reasonable topic for an SF story to consider, but it's not a topic or story high on my personal reading priorities.
The story does pick up later on in the book. However, by that time the enthusiasm I had from the first two chapters had been dampened.