The characterisation is good, the processes realistic and the plot suitably complex, though never enough to confuse. Ken leads his audience through a number of set pieces to a satisfying ending. I must admit that, despite not being a religious person myself, I did have my doubts that such an extreme situation could come about in reality, though if you are able to suspend your disbelief (as I did) there's a lot to get your teeth into here. In summary then, as good as I had hoped after The Execution Channel. Intelligent, entertaining and knowledgeable, this is everything you might expect or hope for from a Ken MacLeod SF novel. Perhaps slightly more SF than The Execution Channel, though not that much more, it does make an interesting counterpoint with Charles Stross' Halting State, which has similar elements in a near-future setting (and who, coincidentally, is acknowledged at the beginning of the book.) Of the two, although I liked Halting State a lot, I preferred this.
In Hollywood terms, it's high concept: in a world where religion is banned, what happens when robots find God? ...The Night Sessions is a fast, entertaining read with some challenging ideas behind it. ... if The Night Sessions' conclusion is not quite as audacious as that of the previous novel, it is nevertheless strikingly brutal and brave, a welcome sign of a novelist willing to follow through the implications of his set-up
MacLeod spins a yarn that moves at a fast pace, and which doesn't disappoint; exciting and intriguing, it keeps a consistent level of interest throughout its passage ... a satisfying read
Gripping and clever near-future thriller
A stunning indictment of fundamentalism of all kinds