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House of Suns | [Alastair Reynolds]

House of Suns

Six million years ago, at the very dawn of the starfaring era, Abigail Gentian fractured herself into a thousand male and female clones: the shatterlings. Sent out into the galaxy, these shatterlings have stood aloof as they document the rise and fall of countless human empires. They meet every 200,000 years to exchange news and memories of their travels with their siblings.
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Publisher's Summary

Six million years ago, at the very dawn of the starfaring era, Abigail Gentian fractured herself into a thousand male and female clones: the shatterlings. Sent out into the galaxy, these shatterlings have stood aloof as they document the rise and fall of countless human empires. They meet every 200,000 years to exchange news and memories of their travels with their siblings.

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (1092 )
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4.4 (756 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Kenneth ROCKAWAY, NJ, United States 06-16-12
    Kenneth ROCKAWAY, NJ, United States 06-16-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fatastic book, makes you smarter too"

    What a fascinating concept, I'm now a fan of hard science fiction. Having enjoyed nonfiction books on physics and cosmology I found it easy to get into this.
    Only reason I give the performance 4 stars is because John Lee does not put as much into his female voices. Other than that he is superb.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rich Maloy New York, NY United States 05-21-12
    Rich Maloy New York, NY United States 05-21-12 Member Since 2014

    rmaloy

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Space Opera the way it should be"
    What did you love best about House of Suns?

    Vast in scope, far reaching in thought-process, and absolutely amazing characters.


    Any additional comments?

    If you like deep space/space opera then this book is an absolute MUST READ. I've listened to it half a dozen times now, and even on this last read I was still picking up on subtleties in the plot. Alastair Reynolds does write some amazing books, and House of Suns is my favorite of his, and my all-time favorite Space Opera. My only disappointment with the book was that it is only one. If it continued I would be on my sixth read of the entire series, instead of just this book. Use that credit for this novel and you will not regret it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jackie Shreveport, LA, United States 04-30-12
    Jackie Shreveport, LA, United States 04-30-12 Member Since 2011
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    Story
    "Just Plain Boring"
    What would have made House of Suns better?

    Characters you care about would have helped. Way too long !
    Too much flashback. More action and less scientific explaining.


    What could Alastair Reynolds have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    How the clones began the long journey should have grabbed your interest at the beginning.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment that I wasted many hours of my time trying to like this story.


    Any additional comments?

    Don't even start listening to this mess.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer boise, ID, United States 04-09-12
    Amazon Customer boise, ID, United States 04-09-12 Member Since 2010

    I don’t have a lot of time for reading, but Audible allows me to listen to all the great books that I thought I would never get to read.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great hard Sci-Fi"

    I did love this book, and it is defiantly worth the time, and credit. I have just recently been turned onto the world of hard sci-fi and so far this is my favorite book of that type that I have read or listened to. I love military sci-fi and although I wouldn’t consider this a military sci-fi book, it does fulfill my need for action and hold off my lack of patience.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leo Canton, MA, United States 04-05-12
    Leo Canton, MA, United States 04-05-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Fantastic SciFi book"
    Where does House of Suns rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I really enjoyed House of Suns, it was one of the better books I've listened to in a long time. Every so often you get a great book that you think about even when you aren't listening and you try to make time to listen whenenever you can, this was that book for me.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of House of Suns?

    I loved the use of time in this book. This book was the first in a long time that I had listened to that handled time and light speed travel in a reasonable method.


    What about John Lee’s performance did you like?

    He was great, I hadn't listened to anything by him before and I will certainly look for more performances by him.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Laugh or Cry? No. This book made me think and to wonder, which is what I look for in a SciFi book.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    john queanbeyan, Australia 03-26-12
    john queanbeyan, Australia 03-26-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "House of Suns Is Awesome"
    Where does House of Suns rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Alistair Reynolds Is a great Writer. His stories are all plot and Character driven, not just gee wiz special effects.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tim Valenta AZ, USA 03-20-12
    Tim Valenta AZ, USA 03-20-12 Member Since 2012

    Tim

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not the strongest book, but a great exercise"

    I didn't feel like this story had the same strong presence that the Revelation Space series demonstrates. Characters are less interesting for who they are, and instead are made entertaining based on how radical they are. Remote controlled paper men, to clones, to evolved biological masses, to mechanical men, to distributed cloud-like entities.

    It's a fine story, and it even comes loaded with Reynolds's signature hard science plot twist at the end. It doesn't appear to be set in the same universe as his Revelation Space set, so that might ultimately disappoint you, since there are no opportunities for familiar names or places to come up.

    By the end, I find myself still impressed with how Reynolds sticks to proportions and sub-lightspeed travel times (despite the ongoing question about *if* the barrier could be broken). The galaxy is a whopping big place, and the distance between galaxies is even more massive. It's calming to listen to more of his stories, where even millions of years from now, the most advanced of us still have to just hit the stasis pods and ride for decades and centuries to get places. It's proof, in my opinion, of the author's ability to properly weave a story, particularly one where the details and the timing and character motivations all mesh together as the story unfolds, avoiding reckless action-centric plot-less events.

    Reynolds is a great storyteller, and this is a good specimen of what we can do when starting fresh and trying to tackle hard science fiction from a new angle.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Don Fresno, CA, United States 12-13-10
    Don Fresno, CA, United States 12-13-10
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    "An interesting story"

    I really enjoyed this book. It was not a typical science fiction book where the ideas and concepts are contemporary with a futuristic setting. The author also does a good job not following traditional plots and themes. I never knew what to expect next. I was disappointed when it ended because there was so many questions and possabilities that still existed. Another sign of a good book.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David 11-10-10
    David 11-10-10 Member Since 2012

    Indiscriminate Reader

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Epic, though could have been more epic"

    My first Alastair Reynolds novel, I found this to be a pretty good stand-alone space opera that avoids some of the usual tropes of the genre. Humans are alone in the galaxy -- the many civilizations populating the galaxy are far future posthumans evolved from the original human race. There is no FTL travel; humans spend literally hundreds of thousands of years touring the galaxy in sub-light ships of immense size.

    House of Suns begins with an attempt to wipe out the Gentian line by mysterious attackers. The search for the identity and motives of their adversaries leads to the uncovering of a conspiracy that is literally millions of years old.

    It has a great epic scope (millions of years, thousands of light years), but the characters themselves never really interested me much, and the rise and fall of interstellar civilizations failed to catch me up in an epic sweep of events -- instead, the finale is a long, long starship chase.

    I enjoyed it quite a bit, and will probably try something else by Reynolds, but it didn't quite hit the "Wow" level for me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joseph Cleveland Hts, OH, United States 11-04-10
    Joseph Cleveland Hts, OH, United States 11-04-10 Member Since 2011
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    13
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    "Interesting Ideas"

    This has a lot of interesting sci fi concepts I haven't seen in other novels.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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