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
"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)
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.
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.
a different narrator , French accent hard to listen to, if that is what that is.
just not a master of language with out a nasty accent
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.
would like the money back to spend on a different book
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.
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
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.
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.
I have listened to House of Suns by Alastair Reynolds and I honestly enjoyed that one a lot more.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A Sci Fi junkie who occasionally goes slumming to read other literature.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
More Sci-Fi Please!
Revelation space is more disappointing than an outright bad book, because it is easy to see how it could have been great.
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 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.
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.
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.
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