This book does that for me. I finished the book the night of Christmas, retreating to a quiet room away from all of the noise and hassle of family so I could concentrate without being expected to make conversation. And then I promptly re-read the ending, and again.
And again. *g* Before another week had elapsed, I'd gone back to find the "best parts" and ended up staying to read the entire thing through once more.
As such, I'm probably the least possibly objective reviewer the book could have, but I want to encourage those who occasionally read this journal to pick up Bear's latest and, hopefully, love it as much as I did.
Carnival is the story of two spies intriguing for their governments, against their governments, and for and against each other. (In case you hadn't noticed, spies are one of my beloved themes.) It's the story of two old(er) men, deciding that friendship and love mean more than success on someone else's yardstick. It's a great tale if you like to see evil governments and their manipulators getting what they deserve.
Plus it's got spaceships and a utopia that isn't, and broken idealism, and chases to the death through the steamy jungle, and some really cool techno stuff that I actually understood. (Not the science head, here.)
So. Go, find the book, and read it. I promise you won't regret it.
::clears space on most beloved book shelf for this one::