On that rule change: Cleave clearly thought out the scene at “Headquarters of the International Olympic Committee, Lausanne, Switzerland” very thoroughly. He paints a portrait of soulless bureaucrats making choices that will affect folks like ultrahuman athletic talents like Zoe, Kate and Jack. He even takes a timely dig at Wall Street: “The clients were squeezed because the bankers had sucked the marrow out of the money, so the customers had less to spend.” There is good writing here. “This was what had become of the world that children used to ride their slow bicycles through in careless arcs.” The utility of this plot device is two-fold. First, it of course allows Cleave to moralize—which, I must say, is usually a job for a bad critic to do. Second, it sets up the story—I’m not going to call it plot, because plot has mystery in it, and not simply causality, since we know why only Kate or Zoe can realize the dream of Gold, we just don’t know which one of them will. (That is time-sequence causality.) It makes us readers so very curious about “what will happen next,” and “who will win.” Unfortunately, curiosity only carries a novel a very little way, and I care nothing for it.