Easily the best thus far. Greg bear has become one of my favourite authors because of this book.
Dune. While not as ground breaking and eternally memorable as Herbert's work, the comparison gives a potential reader the echelon of tale about to be spun. Like Herbert, Bear is obviously highly intelligent and takes the matter of his story to be a four dimensional fluid concept, and not merely a 300 page jaunt down a-few-bucks lane. Things, all of them, are thought out.
The Didact. Part army sergeant, part Gadalf, part man who knows his race is about to be extinguished, I thought he was mesmerising like the Grey wizard, but far closer to someone you mourn for in passing.
Extreme in the sense that one truly never knew what to expect, especially not at the end. Upon that final paragraph the height of reaction was 'WTF?!' in a tremendous way. Unlike almost any Science Fiction attempt I've seen, that has tread the minefield of prequel eras, this story actually enhances what happens 100 000 years later, in feeling and in depth.
I'd recommend this book to any lover of fiction, especially those who've grown stale on what they thought was Sci-Fi. From Dune to the Ender series, Verne to Asimov, Bear and this work belong on the path of 'fiction to reshape fiction'. I hope other Halo and established universe writers take note of what can be done.
The Road King - This scene in the book is possibly one of the most hilarious and in state pieces I've ever read. While always enjoyable, the Repairman books tend to follow a certain flow, a predictable one. Then there's this scene...
Abe, Jack's friend. Price does such an amazing voice for him; very believable, and funny.
His range of voice alteration is impressive. None of the characters sounded alike.
The Road King scene, as mentioned above. At the same time side splitting funny, and brutally real.
I can see Wilson planting seeds for an expanding plot come the future, events now that have their own terrible implication, which will become all the darker in books to come... Just as events prior to this are tied into the story. I wonder if Sal Roma likes castles and keeps?
Rarely can one find a read so full of deeper, and not instantly obvious, meanings that one has to stop the recording regularly to think about it, while also being wholly enraptured by the tale as it progresses.
Le Guin is a rare breed of writer, a true innovator, a master of literary sorcery.
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