I don't often post a wordy review. So when I do, I really felt it was important!
Reynolds creates a fantastic sort of world, with all sorts of questions and concepts to keep me thinking far /outside/ of the book.
I've no problems with his characterizations, and enjoyed the progression the main character made over time - but that having been said, the real strength of this book in my mind is the progression through the world itself, new, mysterious lands, ideas, and concepts.
Through it all, a solid level of tension pervades, and I don't think think any portion felt like a real lull. The ending is both incomplete and complete - that is to say, you can see the direction things will go after the conclusion, and even envisage another book, but it might not be necessary, and can stand on it's own.
That having been said, I'll note I'm very comfortable with Reynold's style, and have more or less ended up binging on everything he's published recently! John Lee seems the perfect sci-fi narrator to me, perhaps because of prior experience - but I've developed a deep fondness for his voice over time, and this book is no exception.
Sci-fi, History, Police Procedurals and Science
Reynolds wroite one of my favorite SF series -- the Revelation Space Inhibitor books. Those are dark and VERY long. This is somewhat lighter, easier to get into -- but crammed full of fascinating ideas. Almost like he is considering a long series.
It has a little techno-cyber punk-steam punk feel. But it is a solid piece of science fiction and as always has a fascinating mix of hard SF, wild flights of imagination and characterization.
Have you ever read a book and thought to yourself: Oh crap! now I have to wait patiently for the next two in this series -- and really hope that they come.
The construct at the center of the story and the main character are two of Reynolds best -- and this is the best SF I have read this year.
OK...so I'm waiting for more in Hamilton's Pandora's Star/Void series, or Revelation Space, or Hyperion or this.......let's get going folks.
Class warfare in the dismal/distant future.. A good Sci-Fi adventure yarn..with an imagination, i enjoyed the literal vertical stratification of societies .A bit of analogy to what's here now. By the way, the narrator, John Lee is the best..
I've very happily worked my way through the Revelation series (and Chasm City) in print and was looking forward to something new from the author. Where the Revelation series was special this book is average at best. What really hurt, though, was the narrator. First impressions were that he has a great voice -- strong and well-spoken. Unfortunately his strength of voice and matter-of-fact style of reading overpowers any nuance that should come through in the words and sentences. This dooms the book (aided by the writing to some extent) to sound like simply a dry reading of events rather than providing any sense of tension or drama.
It was interesting, a good world but there were too many places I couldn't believe. I'll be watching the author for better though.
One of my favorite sci fi authors showing he cant write a bad story. ive put off reading this for a while. but i regret itso much. such an interesting premise!
Also. John Lee is prblly my favorite narrator. Ever.
Quillon is an odd bird in more ways than one. As a medical examiner for District 3 of Neon Heights he gets to check out all weird brain teaser corpses collected by sanitation. Somebody who cares about him is relying on that to deliver him a message.
Meroka starts out being Quillon’s bodyguard and guide until she evolves into a partner in his realized save the species mission. Their travels bring them in into contact with ghouls, Angels, Carnivorgs, Skullboys, the outcast Military organization of Dirigibles called Swarm and beings with nanomachine infused brains called Tectomancers.
It’s a full book. There is a character, Tulwar, in here that reminds me of the metal guardian from Logan’s Run only this one is Steampunk and greedy. Since we’re tossing genres around get your brain around this work of: Steampunk, Cyberpunk, Dieselpunk, Transhumanist, interdimensional travel.
Excellent crafting and narration throughout get this work four out of five entertainment award units of your choice. Stock up on Zone shift sickness meds and get moving. Enjoy!
Books with this kind of premise, different tech in different areas are just not logically possible. Alastair does his best (and I thought for a minute he might have pulled it off, but not in the end.
Great premise (which is the only reason the overall rating is a 2 rather than a 1), however, this seemed like three different novels crammed into one: a sci fi mystery, an escape thriller (complete with a film noir chase through a hurtling train), and a steampunk dystopian political intrique. Solving the mystery of the city, which seemed like the most fascinating character in the book, was given rather short shrift, after all of its build-up.
Through it all, a protagonist initially made interesting by his stolen past inexplicably transforms almost overnight into a noble rescuer of mysterious women and lost children. His frequent sermons on how his actions are only motivated by being 'the only right thing to do,' grew tiresome about halfway through the story (long before the sermons stopped). I thought that an angel surgically and genetically altered to pass as a human would be much more interesting, but a number of the secondary characters, though as one-dimensionally drawn as Quillon, were much more engaging.