Not only are Campion and Purslane late for their 30-second reunion but they have also brought along an amnesiac golden robot for a guest. But the wayward shatterlings get more than the scolding they expect: they face the discovery that someone has a very serious grudge against the Gentian line, and there is a very real possibility of traitors in their midst. The surviving shatterlings have to dodge exotic weapons while they regroup to try to solve the mystery of who is persecuting them and why---before their ancient line is wiped out of existence forever.
©2008 Alastair Reynolds; (P)2009 Tantor
This is the second Reynolds novel I've purchased and I am now placing him at the top of my SF reading list along with Peter F. Hamilton. This book moves along at a fast pace and does a good job explaining complex physics in a way that even a complete novice to anything scientific (me) can understand. John Lee is fantastic again (of course). At first I couldn't follow which character was telling the story (Campion or Purslane) but it didn't bother me and as I got into the story I had no problem figuring out who was speaking. All his other characters had distinct accents and I think Lee made the voices for the two main characters the same for a very good reason. All in all, an enjoyable read that left me wishing that the story went on longer. I will definitely keep reading Reynolds' books.
Some have said that this book is long and does not go anywhere. I disagree. The book's mysteries are given up nicely as the journey progresses and the end has a lessen for man kind. I not only enjoyed the journey I liked the ending. It took a while for me to get used to the idea that someone can live a million years. Even if most of the time was spent in stasis. Think of the possibilities!
I have listened to all of the available "Revelation Space" books by this author and didn't hesitate to get this one for a moment. I was not disappointed.
I very much enjoyed this book, the universe it describes is well though through and it's a welcome change from anything else I have read in a long while. The story takes a little getting used to but once you grasp the time scales involved it's not al all complicated to follow. If there is a sequel to this book I would buy it without a moments hesitation.
Hey Audible, don't raise prices and I promise to buy lots more books.
I am always on the lookout for new SF authors. I have read most if not all of Hamilton, Clarke, Vonnegut, Wells, Simmons, Asimov, and Herbert among other greats. This was my first Alastair Reynolds book. I cannot say I was overwhelmed by it in anyway. When I read by a reviewer that I follow that Reynolds pushes the boundaries of the genre in new directions, I was ready for something special. I feel disappointed.
That a progenitor fractured herself into a thousand male and female clones seemed intriguing. But this fact was not fully developed at least not in this book. That they stood aloof and documented the rise and fall of countless human empires, to meet every 200,000 years to exchange news and memories of their travels is not what this book is about, but this was the hook that got me to reading. That the hook was merely a catch and release was less than satisfying.
The book is about the why and where-with-all of a grudge harbored against this line of shatterlings. The grudge is not very novel or interesting and I did not care an iota about their survival. For me the book was shallow and never grabbed my interest. Sometimes books grab me in places and seem to drone on in others. This book never captured my interest or imagination. The ending does not drone on. It just abruptly stops. Just like one of the shatterlings’ 30 second meetings. Unsatisfying... plain and simply that. For the amount of time and space that the novel is purported to cover, I felt like it went nowhere.
John Lee was his regular competent self but, like the book, not terribly inspiring. I do not think he added much to the book but then he probably did not detract from any greatness either.
A long space opera that travels across Millenia and galaxies but goes nowhere. It was at least 12 hours into the audiobook before the plot really started to fall into place and parts of the back story (which is drip fed throughout the tale) began to make sense. It also doesn't help that the story is told from 2 separate characters viewpoints but it is not always clear who is "talking" until the opposite character is named. If you're a hard sci-fi buff you might like this book but for me the story doesn't do enough to justify the very tame ending which is very anti climactic.
This book is well written from all perspectives. The author explores the consequences of being stuck with the speed of light. Without warp drives or wormholes, how could humanity make a society that spans the galaxy work? Now add some good characters, a mystery, and an epic battle of survival. This is science fiction firing on all cylinders. It isn't the greatest thing every written, but is the best science fiction I've listened to in years. If you are on the fence about whether this is the book for you, my recommendation is a big thumbs up.
Learn, understand, then decide whether you accept or reject.
The premise of this story is interesting, but it just drags on and on with extremely slow plot progress. I only got this book because it came up in a special Audible offer, and I wanted to check out Alastair Reynolds.
It's hard to say at this point.
The ending, which was executed beautifully.
I have not read the print version, so I do not know.
When the little girl becomes just another clone of the House of Flowers.
Every scene was wonderful. I cannot decide.
No, but the whole concept behind the book: clones that experience thousands of years of humanity's evolution, destruction, and re-emergence, is so unique, even in the genre of science fiction, that I was moved to excitement during the entire novel.
Until I had the good fortune to stumble upon Alastair Reynolds, I thought that contemporary science fiction was bland and often reworked ideas stolen from the classics. I felt Asimov, Orwell, and Vonnegut to be the last great authors of my favorite genre. Now, my favorite author after Mr. Vonnegut is Mr. Reynolds. All his books are amazing thus far. Also, John Lee is the best narrator I have come to love on Audible.
Reynolds has established himself as one of the pre-eminent contemporary science fiction writers. More so than most of his fellow authors, Reynolds manages to push the boundaries of the genre in new directions. House of Suns begins as a typical sci-fi story with cloned copies of a progenitor line traveling the galaxy in light speed vessels with a periodic reunion to swap experiences and memories. Initially, the story begins along a sinister track with unknown forces out to destroy the line for unknown reasons. Gradually the tale evolves to a more complex endeavor that unearths machine intelligence, past atrocities, and secret societies. The ending also resolves a mystery that is developed early in the tale.
What sets House of Suns apart from other stories is the extreme futuristic setting. Typical sci-fi stories propose scientific progress as an exponential process, such that even a couple of hundred or at most a thousand years is more than enough to reach a pinnacle with a plateau effect. Reynolds places this tale, more than 6 million years in the future. Even the beginning of the clone line was begun well after our present time. Given the relativistic limitations that are preserved, 6 million years of action is not experienced, but the temporal dissonance of the story is palpable and is similar to explaining calculus to students learning to count. Buckle up, the ride is exhilarating.
"Not what I expected."
Guessed the ending, along with the avenues of the general story line was going early in the narrative. John Lee is not everyone's first choice, but his reading of this book is what made me stay until the end. I'm not saying it was not a worth while purchase. Some books grab you from the start, and others don't. I am glad I stayed to the end. Already purchased the eBook to read at my leisure.
Well balanced. Intriguing. Clever and enlightening. I just wish it was one of many in a series.
"great, with some caveats"
while the main story is as good as his usual work it takes an enormous amount of time to get going. I actually skipped half a chapter which is unheard of.
"It was ok"
Never gripping just an interesting listen. Narrator was good. First book I have read from this author I am not in any hurry to read another.
Love the story. Great narrator. The sheer scale of it reminds me of Olaf Stapleton.
"Finally someone as good as Iain M Banks"
Its up there.
Hard to say.
All pretty good
My fav all time Sci Fi writer is (sadly was) Iain M Banks, this is as good as his best.
"Get this !"
You will not be disappointed. The future you will thankyou for it.
Lose yourself in a story that lasts millions of years, but only takes a few hours to listen to.
if you like stories that involve travelling vast distances, stasis pods, robot humans and betrayal....look no further.
great narration ...
"An epic tale, told over eons, that just stops."
I loved the characters, the story, the pretext, everything. it builds and builds and builds.
And then stops.
nor sure if he hit his word count or decided to do a squeal right at the last minute but not the best ending every.
"An amazing book amazingly performed."
Couldn't recommend highly enough - an excellent read. Solid story with a great climax and very well preformed. What a treat!
"Nicely paced and captivating"
The story follows well but with the narration it can get confusing when switching when switching characters in the Gentian Line. Worth a listen.
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