Hey Audible, don't raise prices and I promise to buy lots more books.
I am always on the lookout for new SF authors. I have read most if not all of Hamilton, Clarke, Vonnegut, Wells, Simmons, Asimov, and Herbert among other greats. This was my first Alastair Reynolds book. I cannot say I was overwhelmed by it in anyway. When I read by a reviewer that I follow that Reynolds pushes the boundaries of the genre in new directions, I was ready for something special. I feel disappointed.
That a progenitor fractured herself into a thousand male and female clones seemed intriguing. But this fact was not fully developed at least not in this book. That they stood aloof and documented the rise and fall of countless human empires, to meet every 200,000 years to exchange news and memories of their travels is not what this book is about, but this was the hook that got me to reading. That the hook was merely a catch and release was less than satisfying.
The book is about the why and where-with-all of a grudge harbored against this line of shatterlings. The grudge is not very novel or interesting and I did not care an iota about their survival. For me the book was shallow and never grabbed my interest. Sometimes books grab me in places and seem to drone on in others. This book never captured my interest or imagination. The ending does not drone on. It just abruptly stops. Just like one of the shatterlings’ 30 second meetings. Unsatisfying... plain and simply that. For the amount of time and space that the novel is purported to cover, I felt like it went nowhere.
John Lee was his regular competent self but, like the book, not terribly inspiring. I do not think he added much to the book but then he probably did not detract from any greatness either.
Love having someone read me a story. Fires in the hearth, rain on the roof, sunny days and surf. Good friends, good food and J S Bach.
and I then read other reviews. I really thought I had fallen asleep somewhere and 'lost the plot'
So 'Thank You' to two reviewers, Robert and Reid who expressed much of what I was thinking...apart from.."Did I sleep through something?"
I had very little idea that each chapter was a different voice. And I too found the great John Lee, 'mono tonous'
I wondered too, if the publishers' promo was for another book.
All that aside, there were some very very interesting ideas that I personally consider were not well developed. At some time I expect I will listen again, better prepared to try and follow.
While I agree that some (novel to us in the 'here and now') ideas and gadgets are better left to explain themselves in context, and applaud Reynold's treatment of such, I simply did not know who was who, apart from Abigail (and someone other than Abigail) and 'hoped' that it would sort itself out.
Now maybe, the use of the single voice ,without explaining it was someone elce, was intentional...you know the fracturing of a single identity.. really was the same voice after all.
And maybe this is a story that begs a second listen.
It took me a while (I'm a bit slow sometimes, especially with intermittent listening) to realize that the first person narrative changed characters every chapter. The voices are not greatly different, so I was confused by the narrative and character names. Once I realized that the first person changed chapter-by-chapter, things began to make more sense.
This book covers vast expanses of time and space - millions of years, millions of light years. Ships the size of cities; people with lifespans measured in millions of years. The story was very engaging at times, very drawn out and, dare I say, boring at other times. I found the interrogation of the four prisoners and the "funeral scene" particularly long and boring, unnecessary to the storyline. These sections could have been almost entirely eliminated without harming the story. I almost quit listening entirely during the funeral portion because it was long and pointless.
Overall, I'd have to say I liked the book because of the ideas and concepts presented. However, I had little emotional connection with the characters.
I found the narrator John Lee easy to listen to, though I wish his voice characterizations had more "personality". Most of the characters sounded very much alike in tone, tenor, pacing. There were a few who had different accents, which helped, but the main characters were too similar for me, especially early in the book before I picked up on the subtle differences.
I probably will not be seeking more Alastair Reynolds books anytime soon.
I really enjoyed this book. It was not a typical science fiction book where the ideas and concepts are contemporary with a futuristic setting. The author also does a good job not following traditional plots and themes. I never knew what to expect next. I was disappointed when it ended because there was so many questions and possabilities that still existed. Another sign of a good book.
I really enjoyed this book. The main problem was the narration --- the narrator (John Lee) did not do a good of making it clear when he switched between characters, especially the 2 main characters. Moreover, I wish he had a better voice for female characters --- it's really no different. Every now and then he pulled out an accent of some sort for a character, but it was just odd and ill fitting. Anyways, once you get past the narration, it's a great read.
This is one of the few times that I have desired a male/female reading team--or maybe it's just that this reader makes absolutely no attempt to distinguish which of the two main characters is speaking. Otherwise, sure it's a little slow, but it's pretty good nonetheless.
I have read several of Alistair Reynold's novels, and "House of Suns" is by far my favorite. Reynolds is quickly becoming a master of the genre. The sweeping scope of this story, and the almost feverish imagination at work are a delight to the fan of science fiction on an epic scale. A few more books like this, and Reynolds will be challenging Iain Banks for his domination of the galactic canvas.
I enjoyed this book. I thought the narration was easy to follow and well suited to the story, and the author explored some interesting ideas in an entertaining way.
I'll definitely consider another Alastair Reynolds book in the future.
Interesting and Entertaining
inspiring, ascending, think big
I like its ending, that we were finally allowed to meet the representative of the ancient, first race of the intelligent machine.
He kept me very engaged with the story till the end.
An investigation of the mysterious disappearance of Andromeda galaxy.
I truly enjoyed this book. I really liked the fact that for a long while at the beginning of the book I didn't know what was going on and still found that I enjoyed the story and narrative.The universe the author creates is interesting and the flashbacks help bring the story into focus over time. Others have complained that there is not enough action in the story - and I admit after I was done with the book - I looked back and realized the same thing. But I still really enjoyed the read ... and getting lost in this world was fun. This was my first book by Reynolds - but will most likely not be my last. The is some hard profanity in this book although lightly used most of the time ( I estimate there were maybe 2 dozen F-Words in and 18 hour book )As for the Narrator, he does an excellent job on this book - and that may have contributed to how much I enjoyed listening to it.