I focus on fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, science, history, politics and read a lot. I try to review everything I read.
I liked Spin quite a bit, and Axis somewhat less so. I was prepared for Vortex to follow the common downward spiral of most sequels. I was pleasantly surprised to find Vortex was significantly better than Spin. The characterization was deeper and more touching, the story more compelling, and the ideas more thought provoking. I am a real stickler for good science and as wild as the story becomes it remains grounded in (equally wild) current theories of cosmology. This is not a feel-good romp, the story is dark, thoughtful and intense. The conclusion may not satisfy every reader, but it was consistent, unexpected, and interesting. The twists were inventive and fascinating. The Spin was good, but I suspect I will be thinking about Vortex for some time to come.
Once in awhile I will read a book and then re-read it almost immediately to absorb the entire thing. This is one of those books. The beautiful end of the Spin trilogy by Robert Charles Wilson
This book picks up 10,000 years after the middle volume with Turk Findley and Isaac, but brings their stories into the novel in a unique way. A Houston police officer named Bose and a psychiatrist at a state institution, Sandra Cole, become involved with Owen Mather. Owen, not exceptionally intelligent, has been writing long first person narratives set well into the future. These are the stories of Turk, Isaac, and a new character named Allison.
Turk is brought back to life in a desert on the planet of Equatoria where the first book ended and the second book took place. The mysterious protectors of earth, the Hypotheticals, still play a major role in the thinking of humans now spread through the galaxy and on Equatoria a religious group has been waiting and training for the appearance of both Turk and Isaac. It’s the group’s belief that because the portals created by the Hypotheticals, allowing almost instantaneous travel between worlds, are selective in who they let pass (not allowing birds or other creatures) that Turk and Isaac provide the means to contact the Hypotheticals, who continue to hold a god-like mystery in their minds.
The narrative switches between the mystery of Owen, on earth after the protective “Spin” barrier appeared around the planet, and the lives of those living in the far future. Ultimately we find that Owen has been chosen and guided to provide a kind of redemption in a reach across time.
Beautiful prose and compelling characters bring this complicated story to life which ends, ultimately, with the entropic end of the universe. Because of how the characters interact across time and the mystery of what the Hypotheticals are trying to accomplish I think I needed the second reading to draw it all in. It’s certainly the most amazing multi-book series I’ve read since I zipped through Dan Simmons’ Hyperion Cantos.
I'm loving everything about this series! Interesting story and while it veered away from the characters in the first book, I still found it a good read. I look forward to the next book.
i am a tremendous fan of Robert charles Wilson. perhaps like all writers he ha reached the limits of his own talents. i admit i loose interest with many things. so this could be a biase opinion.
its just after three massive exhilarating sequels i found myself struggling to believe another endlessly geniused soliloqui on reality. the feeling was there as Wilsons passion for stories convinces readers of their own feelings about the stories. yet the backdrop had finally becomo too grand. i say this about all Wilsons novels en total from his very first pulp efforts. there was just far too much going on by Vortex. i had even skipped middle chapters in reaction. i could feel for the characters. perhaps that is the mark of mature writing. yet i could not continue to pretend i had entered another reality and was grudgingly leaving it withou knowing. that is why i read Wilson. perhaps both our standards have become too demanding.
SciFi crazy! Geek! Love my dog, Dylan! Was never a good reader, then I discovered Audible and topics that interested me. Generally SciFi, b
nd out book 3 was added, I ended up re-reading the entire saga starting from book 1; The Spin.
I'm glad I did! I had forgotten some important details of the Spin story.
This book seems to wrap up the story of the Hypotheticals.
I doubt there could be a forth book in this series, but there is a very very small chance of a forth book.
If there were to be a forth book it probably would be because we demanded it.
I'm O.K. with it ending like this.
As always, the narrator does a great job and thankfully they used the same narrator throughout the entire series of books. I appreciate when production does that. Unless book 1 hires a bad narrator, in that case its good to chqnge the narrator. Thankful with the Spin series the narrator was good from book 1 to book 3.
The first book was longer than it should have been and the second book was a shuffle of details that I left me unsure how I ended up there and continued in the third but the conclusion was well worth it.
This book was not a good finish to the series. Actually, the series got worse with each book, which is a shame because it started out so well. It was interesting how he tied the two ongoing stories in this book together, but the Sandra/Bose story really just didn't seem to fit with the rest of the novels. It was almost like he added that just as a way to tell the finally of Turk Findley's story. Decent idea, I just didn't like how he executed it. The information and "wrap-up" of the hypotheticals was good. Overall, I was disappointed.
Steve (Walnut Creek, CA, USA)
This review contains spoilers (plot details):
I really liked Spin, and I was more drawn in to it than most books I've read. Axis wasn't all that great to me. I figured I had to get Vortex to figure out what it was all about.
It's a well-done story with typical Wilsonian bouncing from time and character to time and character. He goes farther out than I'd expected, to the eventual breakdown of subatomic particles in the very distant future.
I liked the characters and ideas, and generally enjoyed it. Narration is the same as for the previous 2 books.
I lost interest in the Spin trilogy after listening to Axis and almost decided not to listen to Vortex. I'm really glad I decided to listen to the last book of the Axis trilogy. Vortex is captivating, exciting and has well-developed characters. I think Vortex is better than both Spin and Axis. Bottom line: Vortex is a great story and one that I look forward to listening to again.