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Revelation Space Audiobook
Revelation Space
Written by: 
Alastair Reynolds
Narrated by: 
John Lee
Revelation Space Audiobook

Revelation Space

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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

3.9 (2530 )
5 star
 (856)
4 star
 (883)
3 star
 (496)
2 star
 (193)
1 star
 (102)
Overall
3.9 (1960 )
5 star
 (714)
4 star
 (655)
3 star
 (372)
2 star
 (144)
1 star
 (75)
Story
4.0 (1956 )
5 star
 (875)
4 star
 (592)
3 star
 (283)
2 star
 (122)
1 star
 (84)
Performance
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  •  
    S. Tulk Washington, DC 12-21-14
    S. Tulk Washington, DC 12-21-14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Awesome Story - OK Character Voicing- HORRIBLE PRODUCTION"
    What would have made Revelation Space better?

    Completely overhaul of the audio production, editing and mixing, assuming the narration was recorded in a form that would make a difference. Increase the time between the transitions from the cuts to different scenes within chapters. It took me a long time (and reading some of these reviews) to figure out that there was virtually no silence between switching from scene to scene, which caused an extreme amount of confusion and it was very jarring. Also, love John Lee as a narrator, but either the mix down or the direction or his choice of voices caused me further confusion. There definitely is way too much bass in the mix, which made it confusing as to what character was speaking, but the French/Transylvanian Vampire accents were not all that differentiating either. Chasm City (which I'm almost done with) is FAR FAR superior. Also, I would agree with others, that Chasm City would be a better introduction to this universe.


    Any additional comments?

    This was my first introduction to Alistair Reynolds. Big fan of Dan Simmons, Peter F Hamilton and speculative science fiction in the distant future. I love the universe he's established. Other have written other, better reviews. My focus (above) is 100% on the production quality. Really detracted from the story, flow, understanding and characters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kelly H. 11-02-14
    Kelly H. 11-02-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    175
    2
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I did not like this at all, need to get the money"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    a different narrator , French accent hard to listen to, if that is what that is.


    Has Revelation Space turned you off from other books in this genre?

    not yet


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    just not a master of language with out a nasty accent


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    No, seems that the content had not even a close relation ship to real, I know this is fiction, just so much difficulty understanding the narrator I could not form am mental image of the story. I like to experience the story for the life distraction it represents.


    Any additional comments?

    would like the money back to spend on a different book

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matt P 10-29-14
    Matt P 10-29-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    3
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Performance
    Story
    "Did not like the narration"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Would not recommend due to the narration. Perhaps the hard copy. I think there was an interesting story here but I missed much of it.


    Would you be willing to try another one of John Lee’s performances?

    Likely not


    Any additional comments?

    The narration made this book almost impossible for me to understand
    1. The accents are pretty corny compared to most other books i have read/listened
    2. Lack of differentiation between scenes
    3. The narrator (John) emphasizes the start of a sentence by making it loud, then gets quieter and quieter until the end of the sentence. Often by the end of a sentence I cannot hear the last 2-3 words. I have the volume up on my device all the way. This drove me nuts!

    I have read 37 books from audible so far and have not had difficulties such as those listed above with any of them

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 09-22-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    24
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Another great story ruined by John Lee"
    What didn’t you like about John Lee’s performance?

    The performance by the narrator in this book is the same as every other performance I have head by John Lee, very monotone, no way to distinguish characters and no breaks/pauses between scene's or chapters.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jonathan Walla Walla, WA 09-15-14
    Jonathan Walla Walla, WA 09-15-14 Member Since 2012

    Navaron

    HELPFUL VOTES
    0
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    35
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Never completely grabbed my interest"
    What did you like best about Revelation Space? What did you like least?

    I thought the story in Revelation Space was good, but it never really grabbed my interest the way some other books have. Exploring alien civilizations through archaeology was an interesting and cool take on alien encounters, and this was enhanced by the mysterious disappearance of said aliens. However, the possibility of present danger based on the aliens mysterious demise didn't really build that much suspense for me. I 'read' most of this book via audiobook, and I stretched the book out over several months. I'm not sure if that somehow changed my perception of it or not.


    If you’ve listened to books by Alastair Reynolds before, how does this one compare?

    I have listened to House of Suns by Alastair Reynolds and I honestly enjoyed that one a lot more.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by John Lee?

    Absolutely! I have listened to several sci-fi books narrated by John Lee and I love the vast majority of his narration. In fact, I occasionally browse Audible solely based on books he's narrated since I like him so much.
    That being said, this is my least favorite performance of his (I feel really bad giving only 2 stars). I appreciate his attempt to add authenticity to the book by using French accents to go along with the French surnames. However, since most of the characters have French surnames almost all of them have the same accent. This leads to less differentiation between characters than in many of his narrations since he voices many of them very similarly. In addition, faux French accents can be enjoyable on the occasional character, but I quickly tired of them when they made up a huge chunk of the dialogue in the book.
    Other reviewers have mentioned sudden jumps between one character and another during scene-shifting points (which happen often). This is likely due more to poor production that any fault in the narrator. I went into this book with the knowledge that this could be a problem based on previous reviews. It is definitely noticeable and annoying, but I disagree with previous reviewers who felt it let to confusion about who's perspective you are currently following. While the shifts are sudden, without any pause, I could immediately tell what had happened based on contextual information. So while it was annoying, it didn't seriously detract from the story in any way.


    Do you think Revelation Space needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    I felt that the story in Revelation Space was fairly self-contained. Since the narrative never really grabbed my attention I don't feel the need to read a second book. However, I do plan to continue the series just to see if it improves.


    Any additional comments?

    While I initially didn't like this book I am reserving judgement until I have listened to more books in the series. Sometimes a series gets off to a rocky start.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael 07-06-14
    Michael 07-06-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    336
    25
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    18
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not for me."

    I have enjoyed a number of Alastair Reynolds' novels but not this one. I tried to start it twice and gave up within a chapter or two both times. I don't know if it is the story or the narrator. During extended dialogues, I lost track of who was speaking because of the lack of distinct voices or even accents.

    Second, in written form some authors use a blank line or two between scenes contained within a numbered chapter. That scheme is used in this novel. Then the narration pauses for a few seconds between scenes to signal the listener what is occurring. That is not used in this recording. Suddenly, a new scene has started without any notice; and sometimes without sufficient change in story that the change is not realized for several lines.

    So, with a different narrator and editor, this might be a book worth listening to. Or it may just be one of those books that is easier to read than listen to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul 04-17-14
    Paul 04-17-14

    A Sci Fi junkie who occasionally goes slumming to read other literature.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    42
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    88
    78
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    6
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Big and Bold."
    Any additional comments?

    Lots of story lines kept me guessing for most of the book. It all came together at the very end (maybe a little too quickly and neatly). Characters are good. Interesting scenes and technical descriptions. Dark with not a lot of humor.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kenneth Scott Davis Maryland 03-05-14
    Kenneth Scott Davis Maryland 03-05-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    0
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Corner Stone book for any science fiction fan"
    What made the experience of listening to Revelation Space the most enjoyable?

    What makes audible books different (at least the way I listen), is you have no idea how much of the story is left. With paperback, you can visually see the amount, with a movie, you know when it's over and the story is going to HAVE to wrap up. This particular book just has one turn after another, after another. I think I'll be disappointed when it "wrap's up" because then it will be over.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Revelation Space?

    Of all the Sci-Fi book's I've read, only real good ones open your mind up to "what will/can be" and how that plays out. When I finally got the enormity of Alastair's vision of humanity spread out with dozens of years of travel between each other and what that would mean in terms of "progress", "cultural divergence", and even perspective's of time from the "Ultra's" point of view. When it finally sunk in, my mind went wild with the consequences. The most memorable part was when I understood the vision.


    What does John Lee bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Initially, the narrator bothered me, with all the accents, etc. But, it didn't take long that it fit like a glove. Maybe the narrator was as un-sure as I was, regardless, it flows quite well soon enough. I can easily tell the speaker of the story from the narrator with out annoyance, so that is good.


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

    Not yet.


    Any additional comments?

    I do very, very, very few reviews. Only really good books/items/etc warrant time to do this. For the record, I listen 4-6 hours every other weekend (while driving I-95 Highway). This book is very good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael 02-16-14
    Michael 02-16-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    91
    10
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Requires investment, doesn't quite deliver."

    So, I read the reviews and appreciated that this novel is detailed, with a lot of description and hard science - that's OK - I like that. The problem is that there is just not enough narrative drive and character development to sustain the detail. Like everyone else (or so it seems) I found the scene changes with no pause whatsoever (why audible, why??) very hard to follow unless I was concentrating very hard, and like others before me, had to restart after about 6 hours and listen more carefully as I felt I had missed too much detail on the varying threads. With the restart came an expectation that the work I put into listening to this novel would be paid off in the longer run with deeper enjoyment, but unfortunately it never happened for me and I only just made it over the line, finding the ending in particular rather tedious. I have listened to the Pandora's Star series and found John Lee a little better in those, although there is so little variation in his voice characterisations that he doesn't elevate the material the way a really good narrator can. Unfortunately that's exactly what this novel needed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris PALO ALTO, CA, United States 01-02-14
    Chris PALO ALTO, CA, United States 01-02-14 Member Since 2015

    More Sci-Fi Please!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    55
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Unrealized Potential"

    Revelation space is more disappointing than an outright bad book, because it is easy to see how it could have been great.

    The Good:
    It's rich, and the descriptions of the environments and other events paint vivid pictures. I rarely found myself wondering, why they hadn't gone into more detail about the physical properties of what was being described. The technical discussions are also detailed and flesh out interesting concepts such as the need for aerodynamic shapes in near light speed ships due to the rate of particle impacts at that speed.

    The "Meh":
    The richness is constant. I mean constant. Everything is described in great detail and illustrated through analogies. This has several effects I find to be annoying. Firstly it's hard to tell what's truly important from what's just described in detail because it can be until it becomes apparent later. As a result, you have to pay constant, close attention to ensure you don't miss anything. This can be especially painful if you are hoping to have a lighter read, or listen to this while driving. Combine this with three simultaneous threads in the story and you've got the a truly "dense" piece of literature.

    The Bad:
    As mentioned, there are three simultaneous threads. Naturally there is a need to switch between these threads as they develop. This is done without any break, pause, or sound resulting in a "wait, what the hell?" moment every 10-15 minutes or so. Furthermore although the descriptions are vivid, I didn't find myself identifying with any of the characters and only once (in the 6 hours of length I gave the book) found myself genuinely interested in hearing what would happen next Vs. just trying to keep it all straight in my head.

    Overall:
    It's painful. The density combined with the context switching makes it a challenge at best. Combine that with the fact that I usually listen to Audible while driving and it's damn near impossible to keep everything in line and remember all the important points. I listened to this book for 6 hours on a long drive and at some point just had to stop since I had completely lost track of what was happening. After redoing the first 6 hours It made a lot more sense, but even afterwards I found myself uninterested in constantly having to struggle through the extremely dense descriptions and constant context switches. I found this book more disappointing than an outright bad book, because I can see that there was a lot of great ideas here that had been thought through in detail.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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