A smart story of love and loss with a clever mix of narrative techniques, Empty Set may be an antidote to the current climate of despair ... the characters are rich and well developed, the mood is contagious, and the plot is simple yet intriguingly complex ... The ending shouldn’t come as a surprise, but, to Gerber Bicecci’s credit, it does. Suspicious of narrative at the beginning of the story, hiding behind her puzzles and her diagrams, Verónica gradually finds a place within it, a way forward that offers readers an enticing model for how to exist in a fragmented world of ever-multiplying identities.
Although Empty Set is at times a playful, often funny work, the book becomes increasingly concerned with Veronica’s efforts to uncover her ancestral legacy, which seemingly disappeared along with her mother ... Interspersed between short chapters Gerber Bicecci reproduces the charts, graphs, and diagrams that [protagonist] Verónica relies on to find order and meaning in her complicated, fantastical world.
Mexican author Verónica Gerber Bicecci’s first novel is like a Rubik’s Cube in the best possible way: there may be an elegant solution, but this puzzle of a story doesn’t make it easy to find. The head-scratching challenge of deciphering the messages and meanings hidden in the combination of Gerber Bicecci’s spare words and enigmatic diagrams is one of the most appealing aspects of this unusual narrative ... As with any good work of experimental fiction that defies conventional expectations, however, there are no definitive answers here and no elegant solutions.