When a book makes me stay up listening until 2am, it's a good book. The description of of the storyline really does not do the book justice. When you think you have a grasp on the limits of the situation they find themselves in, you will be surprised with yet another twist.
Also don't think that the story is about crew on a comet. The crew is only on the comet at the very start of the book. This book is about first-contact, aliens, survival, the human species, the future, technology, friendship, trust, betrayal, living forever, good aliens, bad aliens, etc, etc, and Reynolds does a great job filling your mind with imagination. Wow, what-if!!
Highly recommend this book!
I've listened to John Lee in the Pillars of the Earth, World without End, and a couple more. This was my favorite performance for John Lee. Great job.
This book made me think and imagine and hope.
Can't wait for a sequel.
Great Sci-Fi story with lots of plot twists. Every time I thought I knew where the story was heading something unexpected would happen, introducing entirely new story elements which led the plot along a different course. The author is very skilled and having worked for the European Space Agency allows him enough knowledge to make believable details about space and space travel. John Lee's reading was good and very enjoyable.
Having a daughter, I am always happy to find books with strong female characters in major roles. This book centers on 2 such characters and the changing relationship between them. My daughter is only seven, so won't be reading this book any time soon, but I am glad to find books like this.
Near the top of the sci-fi stack. I listened to the first Revelation Space book, and it just didn't grab me - so I avoided Alistair Reynolds for quite a while. This book, however, thrilled me from start to finish.
About 6 or 7 hours in I realized that the book wasn't even halfway over yet. This was significant because more had happened in less than half a book, than happens in so many other books. Densely packed, and wonderful for it!
I've listened to a ton of John Lee; he may not do nuanced differences in character voices - but he does imbue them with a lot of personality. If John Lee reads a book, I'm 80% sold... he's that good.
Only hoping that Alistair Reynolds has more like this up his sleeve. This was epic in scope, and exactly what I crave in good sci-fi. Coupled with John Lee - you get a perfect audio book.
Of course John Lee is great, but the writing is great and the story flows
There are many identifiable themes that are great to follow
He's great. Many voices and a great reader
Yes, there were many moments that I kept rewinding to enjoy it again.
It's a story that is not freaky, follows the rules and a great
Elder Statesman Doctor
The truly accurate character depictions and the feel of reality of the emotions conveyed. This is a Fabulous book that not only fascinates and uplifts you, it makes you want to be a better human being yourself. It just doesn't get any better than this!!
Bella Lind, the 'hero' of the book. She is an accurate depiction of what a human being can truly be, both complicated and angry at times, yet able to rise above her own interests and selfish concerns to help her fellow men (and women).
Spot on! Excellent intonation, excellent simulation of a woman's voice and a Russian accent. You could really feel the differences between the characters by the way he altered his voice for the different people portrayed.
There were several moments in the book that moved me, and despite being a man, it actually brought me to tears at the end, and nearly so at several junctures prior to the end.
If you've ever liked Science Fiction, read this! I am blown away. This is BETTER Than Arthur C. Clarke. Part way into it I thought it might be similar to Rendezvous with Rama, but as it got towards the end, it far surpassed even the entire Rama trilogy, and all in one book. This is Amazing! Get it ! ! ! 10 stars! One of the best books I've ever read! (And I've read thousands.)
The concept behind this book is potentially fascinating. But, it's worked to death and resolved in an unsatisfying way. The book is probably twice as long as it should be. I wanted to like it; but I cannot recommend it.
It reads as classic old school sci fi. The writer knows his stuff and makes it convincing. I'm less enthused by the somewhat by-the-numbers characterisations, but this is typical of what I mean by 'old school sci fi'. It's a well paced book and I enjoyed it.
I'm afraid that I have a big problem with the narration however. While Mr Lee has a fine voice and a relaxed tone, he adopts a sing-song cadence , rolling through punctuation as if it isn't there. This drains meaning from sentences and renders the characters even flatter than written. Despite attempts at varying accents , everyone sounds the same and frankly I got bored listening to it. Gritting my teeth to get through this book.
In future I'll buy the paper versions of Alastair Reynolds novels and read them myself.
This was the second Reynolds book I have read, the other was the Prefect. Reynolds is wonderful at unfolding a detailed and inventive story that is both interesting and illuminating. He also takes time to build a foundation for understanding his key characters, which is important. Unfortunately in both this book and the Prefect, his lead human characters make decisions that don't seem "human" or minimally contradict expectations set by his character development. In this, there are two strong woman lead characters, supposedly friends, supposedly on space "ships" with cultures in the sailing tradition. Yet one of the lead characters, "the Engineer" leads a mutiny against the other, "the Captain" and then locks her away for more than a dozen years for reasons that don't make sense. It is understandable that the Captain upset her mutinous Engineer when not believing her unsupported technical conclusions, Reynolds defined the Engineer character as a professional to whom the technical details matter most. But it was only after the Captain started making decisions based upon good Engineering calculations, that her Engineer friend decided it was time to rebel, along with the other engineers, who suddenly could no longer do technical calculations and thus opposed the captain.
When I read the Prefect, I decided that the overall story was good enough to ignore the character flaws and read another Reynolds work. But when similar (worse) flaws came up again in this book, I think I might avoid future Reynolds books. I think it takes something Major away from the overall story when the characters don't add up.
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so if you are a fan of the other works you will like this one also - it one of the "stand alone novels" that he has wrote
this is sorta like a "First Contact" story but is a little stranger then that - Janus one of Saturn's moons has decided to start accelerating out of orbit and into interstellar space, there is only 1 ship in the correct place at the correct time to follow it for as long as it can and "observe it" before turning back
there are 2 major characters that go from best friends to worst enemies and back to sorta friends, and then something else entirely in the very end of the book - wont give it away but they become closer then any 2 people could ever be and I am not talking about hooking up
its Bella Lind and Svetlana Barseghian - Bella is in charge but Svetlana wants to turn back because she is convinced that the ship doesent have enough fuel to make it back so they must do it now and hope for the best, maybe have to abandon ship because there is no fuel to decelerate
it gets stranger and stranger with the readings they get from sensors and stuff like that, and it soon becomes clear that they will never make it back home again - so they settle in for the long stay and hope that they can one day get a message back home to tell them what happened
after years of time pass, there are 145 people on the ship at the time of leaving and some die and some are killed and some are born - others are born again but that is a matter for latter in the book
like all of Reynolds stuff this is a great story with an ending that is concluded but also leaves something for the imagination
only reason it gets 4 not 5 stars is because the 2 main characters Bella Lind and Svetlana Barseghian go at things that makes no sense at all - 1 of them Bella is all non-hostile about everything, and Svetlana is all about making an example out of someone - maybe its because they are women and thats how they would act but like most things women do in arguments it makes no sense
Pretty standard Sci-Fi, enough reality to relate though it seems to channel quite a few Clarke books I have read. I was hoping for a little more. The book does have a great pace though is a bit predictable. It does setup a sequel and would make a good movie though.