Named one of the best novels of the year by both Locus and Science Fiction Chronicle, Alastair Reynolds's debut Revelation Space redefined the space opera. With Chasm City, Reynolds invites you to reenter the bizarre universe of his imagination as he redefines Hell.
The once-utopian Chasm City - a domed human settlement on an otherwise inhospitable planet - has been overrun by a virus known as the Melding Plague, capable of infecting any body, organic or computerized. Now, with the entire city corrupted---from the people to the very buildings they inhabit---only the most wretched sort of existence remains. For security operative Tanner Mirabel, it is the landscape of nightmares through which he searches for a lowlife postmortal killer. But the stakes are raised when his search brings him face to face with a centuries-old atrocity that history would rather forget.
©2008 Alastair Reynolds; (P)2009 Tantor
"Consistently startling.... Reynolds remains one of the hottest...SF writers around." (Publishers Weekly)
Hard Sci-Fi Connoiseur.
After all the mentions (all negative) of Chasm City in the series I was very excited to get into this book. Interestingly most of the creepy stuff happens not in Chasm City but in the stories leading up to the main characters arrival. All in all a solid addition to the universe though a bit disjointed at time. Pacing at the end is odd. As with The Prefect, if you're unfamiliar with Revelation Space start with that series as it sets an important foundation and makes this book more enjoyable.
Yes. Revelation Space gets sniped because of how density and depth of Reynold's Universe. Chasm City fills the back story for a couple of the planets as well as explaining the historical momentum behind the "present day" in his universe.
The nods he gave towards "Revelation Space" were also enjoyable, as was the noir hint and the quippy nature of the characters.
The protagonist. There is no way I can explain without blowing the book.
Tanner's fish out of water experience as he descends from the Ice Mendicant's station to the surface of Yellowstone was outstanding. The supporting cast also adds to the scenery.
If you liked Revelation Space, you'll like this book even more! Although an entirely new string of characters are introduced and the story seems to deter from the 'long plot' set up in Revelation Space, the story in this book is more entertaining and engaging overall. I really enjoyed this book b/c the characters are all very strong and the plot keeps you intrigued through every twist and turn. John Lee, as always, does a fantastic job developing character personalities through their voices, no complaints there. About the only thing i was disappointed with in this book was the deviation from the 'long plot' of the Revelation Space series but as i said, its absolutely worth a listen.
After reading six of his novels, I would recommend that "hard" sci-fi fans of "space opera" start here with Alastair Reynolds. Chasm City kind of blew my mind. Reynolds has done some very creative things writing in the first person, and Chasm City is my favorite example. After Chasm City, try "The Prefect" and/or "House of Suns." If you're really enjoying yourself, proceed to Revelation Space, Redemption Ark and Absolution Gap or some of the others, which I can't yet comment on.
I like the style of the way this fellow writes, and he creates very interesting and engaging characters. The plot line seemed to hold a lot of potential. But, as the protagonist slips into having more and more dreams, it reminded me of Hamilton's Dreaming Void and Temporal Void novels. Feels like an easy out for the author, although I will say Reynolds' dreams at least expand the story and seem to make some sense. Both authors seemed to rely on characters having unbelievable powers to the point of being ludicrous (and another easy way out of needing more rational explanations). And, what the protagonist and almost everyone else does to the aliens in the "6th ship" behind the convoy is just downright inhuman. Of course, how those aliens ever managed to build anything given their physiology strains credulity. In the end, I felt more sympathy / empathy for the aliens and Methusala (an old fish) than I did for any of these distinctly unlikeable characters. I can't recommend this one, but I appreciated they way Reynolds and the narrator told the story, flawed though it may be. And so, I know I'll listen to another Reynolds yarn.
Full of twists and turns. As soon as you feel like you have a grasp on what's going on in the story, it shifts and slips away, becoming something even more intriguing. It isn't until the final seconds of the book that you feel confident you know who everyone is, and that they finally know who they are themselves. Full of unreliable narrators, flashbacks, dreams that aren't quite dreams, and non-gimmicky amnesia, all worked seamlessly together to build a world most authors need three or four books to integrate you into.
A little flat on the narration - would have preferred a more emotive speaker; the monotone of John Lee's performance makes it hard to care about the main character, until you're used to it. But at least he gave everyone a fairly distinct voice.
This story precedes Revelation Space by a long period of time. There are references to points of lore in Revelation Space, but the reader doesn't have to know them in order to grasp the context. Alistair does a great job in this aspect, and the narrator is true to this achievement as well.
This was a fantastic story. I really enjoyed the depth, the Tarantino style and the story arcing twist wonderful. I can't recommend it enough.
The story of Tanner Mirabelle is a curious one but not quite believable. For one, almost every ally begins at gunpoint, before two minutes later inexplicably being a loyal ally. For another, in the later half as Mirabelle begins to solve a mystery about himself, many conversations happen, quite literally multiple times with very little changes. As in, he'll have a conversation with someone, making a specific demand/question/observation, and then they'll change rooms and he'll say the exact same thing over again. Add to that a story which never really got anywhere despite such exceptional promise, and I'm left frustrated.
That said, the plot gets convoluted and brilliant at times, and so maybe those small drawbacks are but drops in the sea for such a thrill ride. You decide. I certainly don't regret listening, but have no doubt, this is fun but no great work of art.
Original, relentless, grim
The story has arc works fantastically allowing you to piece together the plots strands just at the right pace.
All characters are fantastic and John Lee's voice is perfectly suited to each of them, had me gripped!
The resolution - without wanting to give anything away...
A super book from a good writer given a sprinkling of scary dust from the magical John Lee which moved the story to another level for me.
"Chasm City - wow"
I'm a big fan of Aladtair Reynolds' Revelation Space series, and I think this is the best of them all
The original novel kept me glued to the book for a week, and lots of subsequent rereading
It brings together future warfare, secret agents, space travel with a real noir feel
This audio novel enhances the experience. John Lee's narration is excellent, highly convincing and believable
In my opinion, this is the best sci -fi novel of the past 15 years
A wonderful romp through space. This tale and its twists and turns keeps you on the edge of your seat. I just could not wait for the next excuse to listen. A great mix of adventure, science & technology. Where does this guy get his ideas?? And yes, it does answer some of the questions that I had in my head after reading 'Revolation Space'.
As alway John Lee does a superb job of bringing it all to life and making some of the more complex concepts.
"Reynolds is THE SF writer of the moment."
Reynolds' own version of 'Known' space is coherent and disturbing, involving and dark. John Lee narrates with clear diction and engages the listener. Highly recommended.
What a captivating story, plenty of action and some majestic characterisation. A unique and quite brilliant mechanism for telling several stories concurrently, and a superb 'reveal' awaits the listener to weave each strand into a completed tableux as the book concludes.
My fourth Alastair Reynolds audible book and my favorite so far, highly recommended.
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