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Revelation Space | [Alastair Reynolds]

Revelation Space

Nine hundred thousand years ago, something annihilated the Amarantin civilization just as it was on the verge of discovering space flight. Now one scientist, Dan Sylveste, will stop at nothing to solve the Amarantin riddle before ancient history repeats itself. With no other resources at his disposal, Sylveste forges a dangerous alliance with the cyborg crew of the starship Nostalgia for Infinity. But as he closes in on the secret, a killer closes in on him because the Amarantin were destroyed for a reason.
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Publisher's Summary

Nine hundred thousand years ago, something annihilated the Amarantin civilization just as it was on the verge of discovering space flight. Now one scientist, Dan Sylveste, will stop at nothing to solve the Amarantin riddle before ancient history repeats itself.

With no other resources at his disposal, Sylveste forges a dangerous alliance with the cyborg crew of the starship Nostalgia for Infinity. But as he closes in on the secret, a killer closes in on him because the Amarantin were destroyed for a reason. And if that reason is uncovered, the universe - and reality itself - could be irrevocably altered.

©2008 Alastair Reynolds; (P)2008 Tantor

What the Critics Say

"One of the best books of the year." (Science Fiction Chronicle)
"Ferociously intelligent and imbued with a chilling logic - it may really be like this Out There." (Stephen Baxter, co-author of The Light of Other Days)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (1482 )
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3.9 (1019 )
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Story
4.0 (1015 )
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Performance
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  •  
    D. Birnbaum 12-19-10
    D. Birnbaum 12-19-10 Member Since 2006
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    20
    1
    Overall
    "Interesting Plot with Lots of Scientific Details"

    I really enjoyed this book as the plot is interesting and there is a lot of science in it. I found the characters a bit dark and it was difficult to really connect with most of them. The narrator is great, and I thought all of his various accents really brought the book alive.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sean West Palm Beach, FL, United States 12-16-10
    Sean West Palm Beach, FL, United States 12-16-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent book -- highly recommended"

    Revelation Space is a great, ripping read. If you want complex characters dealing with bigger-than-life alien entities and ideas, this is a book for you. Excavating the 900,000-year-old Amarantin civilization on its home world, Resurgam, archaeologist Dan Sylveste discovers evidence of a group of Amarantins that discovered spaceflight. This happened at the same time that the Amarantin sun flared strongly enough to wipe out life on Resurgam. Could the two be connected? Sylveste, who built his career on intuitive flashes of brilliance, thinks so, and his monomaniacal obsession becomes the backbone of the book.
    However, the book introduces two other groups of characters -- a group of (mostly) cybernetic space travelers on the spaceship Nostalgia for Infinity, and a woman who is a combat veteran-turned-assassin on a world where the idle rich arrange to have themselves hunted as a form of amusement.
    These groups are all interconnected, and their paths converge. The ending is brilliant. However, there are some shortcomings ...
    1) Reynolds follows one of the increasingly common conceits of modern fiction ... introducing characters and plot drivers long before he gives you the background and context to understand them properly. Many of today's authors do this, but I'm not a fan.
    2) The reader of the audible version, John Lee, sometimes (not always) drops the volume of the last word of a sentence. That was really annoying
    3) These are complex characters,and all flawed ... in fact, so flawed that I had problems finding someone to root for and identify with. The most sympathetic character (to me) is the dead, electronic copy of Sylveste's father. Some people will want to empathize with Khouri -- but she's a ruthless assassin for cripes' sake. This novel would be improved by more likeable characters.
    Still, it's a great book. You'll be hooked.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Union, KY, United States 09-06-10
    James Union, KY, United States 09-06-10 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    20
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    "Good sci-fi...slow start...big ending"

    This is the second book I've listened to in this universe. Both of them have started slowly. I had to stop and come back to finish both of them because of the slow start. That being said, the beginning is not bad, just slow. The middle was good and the ending was great. I recommend the book, but only if you're willing to stick with it to the end. There are some interesting sci-fi ideas in the story. Overall I'm glad that I purchased it and just purchased the next one in the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jamie Leicester, United Kingdom 08-31-10
    Jamie Leicester, United Kingdom 08-31-10 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    "A treat for all modern Sci Fi fans."

    This book is the first in the "Revelation Space" and once read you'll want to re read it again. Alastdair Reynolds "mostly" uses modern science rules to explain travel and this makes the books enjoyable on many levels

    The Reader, John Lee, does an excellent job of these Alastair Reynolds books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    rolling turd mi, usa 04-11-10
    rolling turd mi, usa 04-11-10 Member Since 2009

    wounded.alien

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "Good story. Too many similies..."

    I enjoyed this book and I even like John Lee(his best work is Three Muskateers, AWESOME BOOK). Everyone rags on him for not pausing, but HELLO maybe it was the editor. Ever think of that all you retards that complain. The only thing that got irritating was whenever something was described, it was "like a..." AHHH too many similies in this book. Also the use of "futuristic" terms and ideas was a little much sometimes. Other than that it was OK. Don't know if I'm gonna download next book though.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kelly Howard Coastal Oregon 04-27-09
    Kelly Howard Coastal Oregon 04-27-09 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "should be called "Lost in Space""

    I have read & listened to hard science fiction for decades; this goes down (way down) as one of the worst of the worst. I found it incredibly difficult to keep track of who/where/when.
    Part of the problem is the reader's fault; he does not pause, even slightly, at scene or chapter changes. The book will jump character, time (decades, even), & setting all at once but there is no cue at all to let the listener know of the transitions. I am not sure I could keep track of this mess even in print.
    Cheesy, cartoonlike accents do not help, which could be blamed on the reader but nevertheless add to the annoyance factor.
    It's easy to believe that this is his first work; it has the neophyte habit of tossing out cool, futuristic-sounding terms just to make the reader feel "primitive." At first, I went back & checked to make sure this wasn't a sequel to another book, thinking a lot of this garbage must have been explained previously. I've read &/or heard & enjoyed 2 other Alistair Reynolds books --Pushing Ice & Century Rain. I will approach any others with caution.

    8 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Old Hippy PA 03-01-09
    Old Hippy PA 03-01-09 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Cryptic; Hard to follow story - Didn't finish..."

    Had high hopes for this one. If you liked Anathem you would probably think this one is a masterpiece. I just found it strained too hard to try to be creative, between the technology and the complicated aliens and such. The beginning captured my imagination but from there it just went bizarre and required way too much work to visualize the creatures, places, and story. I dropped out after about 5 hours. Couldn't take it anymore ... paying for another download and wasting this credit was better than the pain of continuing to listen and scratch my head. Use a credit on this one at your own risk.

    7 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Kirby 03-10-09
    David Kirby 03-10-09 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "In desperate need of a editing"

    The book had many fascinating ideas but the characterizations were, frankly, uninteresting at best and confusing at worst. These "characters"--whether human, virtual, cyborg, or whatever flavor, all spoke as though he, she or it were standing before a lectern. In no way would their conversations plausibly occur in any real or imagined world. I wish someone like Clark or Niven could have run with the author's ideas; that could have been some book.

    To make matters worse, the reader droned on and on in an almost unintelligible brogue which would be very difficult for most American listeners. Please sample this first if you are still inclined to buy it.

    4 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    kelan South Beach - Florida 08-15-12
    kelan South Beach - Florida 08-15-12 Member Since 2010

    I am a professional photographer - Kelan Photography - who lives in South Beach. I call my collection "Photography from a Different Perspective." The images I create are formed from the designs and colors in nature. They are somewhat abstract. I always have an audiobook playing except on those days when I take a stress break and go wading through the everglades and take pictures of alligators.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I love Alastair Reynolds, but..."
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    This book was interesting, but didn't engender excitement. I read The Prefect, and I am currently reading Chasm City. Both of these are superb.

    All three of these have disparate story lines which tie in together as the book progresses


    Would you be willing to try another book from Alastair Reynolds? Why or why not?

    I read the Prefect first. Amazing story, great plot, dynamic individuals. I love it!

    I read Revelation Space second... not so much.

    However, I'm reading Chasm City which is again superb!


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    I think John Lee didn't put quite enough joy or excitement into this book. He is absolutely amazing in the two other Reynolds' books however!


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steven BratislavaSlovakia 10-14-09
    Steven BratislavaSlovakia 10-14-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "Not bad"

    The reader isnt bad, not realy good but he's consistent, amagantive and the he makes the time go past quickly. Wich is usefull as its SO LONG! Good ideas but could do with about 30% being edited out.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
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