Increasing my ops tempo by allowing storytellers to whisper in my ear(buds).
What is going on here? I don’t know if there is something wrong with me or that Alastair Reynolds is just a very inconsistent writer. I have truly enjoyed some parts of every one of his books, but, except for CHASM CITY, none has kept up the magic all the way through. His other works all seem to get bogged down with convoluted far-future concepts that are so far removed from actual human experience so as to be incomprehensible. You can listen to them just for those gems but there is a lot mush to slog through to get to those precious stones. I began listening to Alastair Reynolds based on the recommendation of several fellow listeners who had touted him as the modern-day master of Space Opera Science Fiction. They recommended the novel CHASM CITY as the best introduction to his Revelation Space series. And they were right. CHASM CITY is fantastic. It is the most accessible of all the novels in the series. It is the best written, has the best characters and the most fantastic “sense of wonder” technology of them all. I have now listened to, REVELATION SPACE, REDEMPTION ARK, ABSOLUTION GAP, and now THE PREFECT.. This novel THE PREFECT does have some nice blending of detective fiction with SF but is misses on so many levels. One of the prime characteristics of the Detective Fiction genre are the gritty hard-edged characters. Listening to this book actually affected my mood. My expectations were so high going in that I really needed this one to be great. After the wonderful introduction to Alastair Reynolds that I had with CHASM CITY; I hung in there through the three central novels of the series, and THE PREFECT, thinking that surely there would be a big, big payoff after so much SF world building background. I mean I hung in there for over 100 hours of John Lee whispering in my ear about indoctrinal viruses, Inhibitor genocide machines, processing Cathedrals, inertial inhibitors, Alternate Universes, longevity treatments, baseline humans, Conjoiner Ultras, Time Travel, Cryo-arithmetic engines, and talking pigs, and I wanted some reward. I got bupkis. I believe I can safely say that the best way to enjoy the Revelation Space series is to start by listening to CHASM CITY and then…stop.
The Prefect ranks very high in my top five. I just want more of this universe of the glitter band.
I only have a handful of Sci-Fi to rank it with and I would put this at about the mid point... if I could ignore the narration, I could give it better marks.
The narration was the sticking point for me on this audiobook. Lee gives very little life to most of the characters and his accent lends itself to about two-three variations. His pauses between between words became predictable and were kept between characters. It really became annoying.
Annoyance at times... but again, due to the narration. Not sure why people enjoy Lee so much. But I have not heard any of his other work... maybe it is just me.
The Prefect is a great sci-fi story. The tech is really inventive. The plot is unique. Some of the character interaction is a little bit unbelievable and at times brings what should be a climatic pace down to a crawl. I attribute this partly to the narration.
I will listen to NO boring book. Old Fav's,Card, King , Hobb. New Fav's, Hill, Scalzi, Sawyer, Interested in Lansdale, Crouch, Konrath
Some will rightly describe this as hard sci-fi, but if by hard you think that means hard to follow, don't worry. I am not the sharpest tool in the shed, but I was able to keep up with the story. There is a lot of tech in the story as it takes place way in the future, but it is all explained well and usually twice.
In the future there will be 10,000 man-made habitats orbiting a planet. In these habitats will be whatever a society wants. In one habitat over a million people live, but to save resources they are mostly heads living in a suitcase size box. In one state everyone is extremely wealthy, but too stay that way they have a lottery, in which the one chosen is slowly tortured. Movies of the torture are sold to other habitats. Some habitats want a totalitarian state. Most though live in some sort of virtual reality living out there fantasies. The habitats reminded me of an updated Philip Jose Farmer Terra Worlds (on steroids).
The Prefect's job is to keep any one habitat from interfering with any other habitats right to do there own thing. Even in a universe where you can chose from 10.000 different worlds to live in, someone always thinks they have better way to live and that their ways should be imposed on others.
The story kept my interest and there was certainly some interesting tech, but I was never really wowed and I thought 20 hours was too long. I have Revelation Space already in my queue, but after that I will probably not seek out this author.
John Lee has a very unique voice which always takes me a couple of hours to get used to. It distracts from the story. He has few voices. He gave the main character and the main bad guy the exact same voice and he does this with a few of the female characters, so at times there was a hesitation in my head on who was speaking, another distraction.
I'm a Big fan of Fantasy and Sci-Fi. I don't have a long history with reading books but most of what i find is enjoyable. My favorite series i have ever come across is Dresden Files.
This book is amazing, the entirety of the book is based around multiple mysterious entities and events that take form in the Glitter Band. In a very distant future where death can be suspended by digital copies, thousands of space stations each very different from the next all being guarded and regulated by Prefects. These Prefects have the power to uphold justice and order but have limited powers. They face an extinction level event that would wipe out the entire Glitter Band.
This story I found starts out somewhat slow with an investigation, being new to space opera and audible in general i found it somewhat taxing. However soon things begun to unravel turning this book into one of my favorites yet. If you enjoy mysteries, science fiction or crime fighting this great book packs it all into one exciting adventure.
The narrator John Lee did it for me. Listening to the James Clavell books - including Shogun - where he narrates lead me to this book. John Lee is fantastic.
This book is a great read. A good story and good characters. An interesting idea and worrying if we ever get there!
A bit of detective and a bit of Sci Fi. I listen to a lot of Michael Connolly and Ian Rankin and love the underdog but clever detective - Dreyfus here is the same, but set in a a completely different scenario to what I usually read.
I really enjoyed it and could not stop.
One of the better novels of the Revelation Space series, this is a prequel happening before any of the other books including Chasm City. I would have liked to see more of the "wonders" of the Belle'Epoque and I do feel the ending was a bit rushed. One caveat I have with Reynolds' work is that they are not action-packed. He much prefers for the "action" to be the revelation of events through characters' dialogue and info dumps. Overall this is a solid detective story that I would put on par with Chasm City, but still underneath Redemption Ark and House of Suns.
Great engaging story, space opera at its best. The narration was superb that action was fast paced without being frenetic. I would recommend.
Back in the Yellowstone system this story is set amongst the Glitter band, a group of ten thousand human space habitats that are governed democratically via an organization called Panoply. Each of the habitats have a central stalk that houses a poling core, using abstraction (a hand waving term for network), representatives from each habitat rotate through the civic duty of voting.
This idyllic thing comes crashing to a halt as an Alpha level imprint from the Silvestri 80, Aurora, takes over four habitats and manufactures warbots called Weevils to spread. Meanwhile, a creature from the past called the Clockmaker which was thought destroyed resurfaces to threaten the maybe invincible Aurora.
Field Prefect Tom Dreyfus, Deputy Field Talia Ing, Deputy Field hyper-pig Sparva are just some of the key spicy characters leading the fight against the dark annihilators of humans in this installment. I enjoy how the author juggles multiple story lines into a mesmerizing tapestry of entertainment. Five out of five for this one. Excellent job!
String characters, active plot, fantastic futures and a murder mystery turned fight for humanity's existence. All in a day's work for Alastair Reynolds.