But their little colony has just received an unexpected visitor: an avenging angel with the power to lead mankind to safety - or draw down its darkest enemy. And as she leads them to an apparently insignificant moon light-years away, it begins to dawn on Clavain and his companions that to beat one enemy, it may be necessary to forge an alliance with something much worse.
©2008 Alastair Reynolds; (P)2009 Tantor
I generally only write reviews of books I don't like so as to remind myself if I see them again, and hopefully warn others...
The personality of a couple of key characters and some of the group dynamics change to focus more on the drama of inter-personal politics. In situations where it would have been action stations, it's now let's have a meeting to discuss... literally... I'm not kidding!
After over 7 hours of waiting for it to get better, I have given up and am returning this book.
My recommendation is do not waste your time.
The minutia of what made Revelation Space and Redemption Ark good are still present, interesting ideas, vivid characters and good voicing.
Reynolds sets the bar enormously high in Revelation Space, with Absolution Gap he does not quite go far enough in answering all the questions and implications. At several of the key moments in the book, decisions almost seem to be made because the author needed them, not because the characters did. Compared to Reynolds characters of the RS and RA this was a bit of a disappointment.
The listening experience was enjoyable, as was the process of wrapping my mind around the possibilities presented by Absolution Gap. To those on the fence about listening (or reading) this book, my advice is still to check it out.
I struggled with continuing with this book. It was multifaceted, and until I was three quarters through the book, did I get a glimmer of understanding.
I felt there was a lot of rhetorical information presented, and the narrator's inflections did not help me understand the difference.
I bought this book because of all the positive reviews, but decided they had more brain processing power than I have!
I have liked other works by Reynolds, and I can't think of whom could really be pleased with this mess. Too many competing plot lines left hanging. Any book that requires both a prologue and an epilogue to make sense has some real plot problems.
I would have to think twice. If I am reading I can skim through a subpar book. With audio books one is stuck. With Reynolds that's lots of hours stuck.
The jugglers, scuttlers, inhibitors, shadows, the conch material spacers
This episode picks up nicely after Redemption Ark. Sometimes hard to follow, but still good sci-fi. I really like John Lee as narrator, and generally like books that he does.
This book and Redemption Arc felt like they were building up to good final book. Yet the whole outcome of the Inhibitors v Humanity is basically glossed over within 12 minutes at the end of Absolution Gap. It's almost like Reynolds decide he couldn't be bothered and was done with the series.
Another excellent sic-fi novel by Alastair Raynolds and magnificent performance by John Lee. I've read most of Alastair Raynolds books and always enjoyed his realistic depiction of near future underlined with scientific facts.
Absolution gap picks up after Redemption Ark, continues with the story of human survival against the inhabiters. You can still read this book without the previous book but I recommend to read redemption ark first which is also a fantastic book if you can't wait till all the characters background are covered later in this book.
I had a mix feeling about the ending but right till the very last chapter the story continues on the right expectation path. If you are familiar with Alastrair Reynaldo then you definitely enjoy the ride and accept the twisted endings. Absolution Gap introduces many concepts that on their own right can be a good sic-fi stories. If you like this series then I also recommend Revelation space which is the part one foundation for other standalone books form AR.
System and software engineer from the UK now living and working in Silicon Valley.
Generally I'd give John Lee 5/5, but he did something really strange here. He took one of the main characters and turned him in to a yank. Why did he do that? He otherwise does a great job of keeping all the character voices straight. When I read part of this in a book store before I bought the audio book I didn't read Mr Pink as always threatening and nearly out of control, it didn't add anything in most places. He's still one of the ways I will search for good stories.
Mostly I like these books, I do find them engaging. But at times the man needs an editor with more backbone. I started using the skip feature on the player to jettison 30 second lumps of BS description or fake tension. Of course he's going to do the right thing, if he doesn't the story is over. *skip* still blathering and gnashing teeth *skip* nope *skip* ah, there we are, story resumed.
But the end? What the hell? You can't just go through sixty or seventy hours of story and then say "then magic happened and they all lived happily ever after" (if they survived). What is this? There was a book missing between this and the last, this resumes with "while we were away those left behind discovered magic" and it ends with a bunch of people we never needed to meet dead. No reason for the bad things to happen at the end. The whole of the last book is really a waste of time. It did not need to happen or be followed, for the plot to work. Mr Pink would already have made the right choice, probably.
I found the ending a little anticlimactic but the journey was great. I suppose I need to keep on reading this series.
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