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)
a Tech Exec who loves the stories about what could be and what should have been. Mixed with histories told from an outside perspective.
This book is a mixed bag for interest. It starts out like the Martian Chronicles, has a bit of Blade Runner in the middle, and ends with a storyline straight out of the Matrix.
This is not my first Alastair Reynolds I am sure I will
The Narrator does a pretty good job dealing with several accents to add depth to some of the characters, I am not sure if it has been remastered or if some listeners are simply not thrilled with a blend of accents. But, to me it added to the listening.
This book, and subsequent series could easily be a lost type series, as there is plenty of characters and setting to make for an interesting view. I am not sure a movie could contain enough detail to do the book justice.
I found this audio book hard to follow. The reader had great accents, but his volume often trailed off at the end of sentenses to the point where I couldn't make out words. The audio might have benefitted from an audio compressor to make the low/quiet parts easier to hear. The story also would have benefitted by adding music between the scene changes. The reader would often change between scenes and characters, and I wouldn't realize it for at least a minute. I'm going to try to read this one because I hear it's a good book. I've listened to a lot of audio books, and I would not recommend this unless you are very patient and plan to listen in a quiet environment.
I love Scifi and Fantasy books.
I am almost six hours into this book and am constantly thinking that I am going to move on to something else. The thing is that I just hate to waste my credits on a book and not listen to it. The main problem I have with this is that it is very hard to follow. The majority of the book is in dialogue form and I keep feeling like I walked into the middle of a conversation and I have no idea who the people are and what came before. During any scene I constantly ask myself who is this again? And yes I agree with some of the reviews that say that the accents are just very hard to follow. I love this narrator and his work on Peter F Hamilton's Void series but this is not his finest work.
I read such positive reviews on this book, but after listening to the 1st of the 3 audio downloads, I was quick disappointed. I felt that there was not main character in the book. It didn't flow well at all. And I read that someone else had issues with not being about to go back and easily re-read a section you didn't understand.
If you are a fan of Star Wars, Star Trek, BSG or B5, I think you might be disappointed with this book. If you are fan of Asimov's Foundation Trilogy, perhaps this would be better suited for you.
Finally, I would like to add that the accent of the narrator was very difficult to listen to for long periods of time. I also felt that he didn't give good voice fluctuations between characters to help you understand who's talking.
Well, I screwed up. I downloaded Revelation as well as Redemption Ark, the next one in the series without first reading the reviews. I am now 7 hours into Revelation and must agree with the majority of the reviews here. The biggest issue for me is the reader. As mentioned, he tends to put the most inflection on the beginning of each sentence and then his voice trails off towards the end so that you can't hear him. He portrays most of the characters with a condescending attitude so that in many scenes all of the characters are talking down to each other in that snooty upper crust way and you can't differentiate between them. Very confusing. I have found my mind drifting onto other things and I've actually fallen asleep a few times, something I've never done in the past. It's a shame because it seems like a good book, and is most likely one of those better read instead of listened to. I'll keep slogging through in the hopes it will improve or perhaps I will develop an ear for this readers style before it's over. However, I think I will avoid books in the future using this reader.
The reader's voice trails off at the end of many sentences making it hard to hear sometimes. Also the French accent also makes it hard to understand at times as well. The story has multiple plots going at once so missing parts because you cannot hear is very damaging to the story. I've not finished this one yet, I'm not sure I will.
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.
interesting story if a bit long winded.
The recording is terrible though. Quiet and muddled voice with no gap when switching scenes.
Not bad, the hard sci was good but a little too sophisticated for me.
It seemed to fall a little flat in the later chapters.
John Lee is a very good reader, for an English ear his accents are believable and consistent.
The story casually spans decades without bothering to tell us what we already know, interstellar sub light travel takes time and time dilation from near light speed travel and cold sleep all conspire to give the crews and others a very different time table.
There is an element of 'who dunit' in this, and even at the end it is difficult to be entirely sure, but I don't want to spoil it. I would like it to have gone on for just a little longer, there were questions left unanswered, though this narrative was mostly dealt with. Not really worth marking it down a point because it is a lot better than most.
The author avoids one of the worst pitfalls of science fiction, he doesn't try to explain the tech and the physics. It is as foolish for sci-fi writers to explain their tech as for a tribesman from 1800s Papua to speculate on the workings of computers. There will be better tech, it will do good things, that's all you can know. On the other hand his numbers add up. So when one of them seemed, perhaps, a little unlikely I did the calculations myself (engineer with 30 years experience in mil aerospace) and he was right. Many sci-fi authors murder the science.
This was a good trip. It contained some very novel speculations on what might be, and might be possible to construct. Right until the end I was still guessing what we should hope would be the outcome, much better even than needing to guess the outcome. And I'll leave it at that.
Both the author and reader did a great job.
"An interesting insight into a possible future"
Where to start?
This is a book of some complexity and enormous scale. It ranges from the sub-atomic to unbelievably large rents in space-time. From petty human conflicts to the fate of humanity. It's a BIG book, in all senses of the word. Humans have spread out into space using huge sub-light starships called lighthuggers. No hyperspace here. Time is not circumvented, in fact, it is material to the sequence of events. The main characters are well fleshed-out and believable. The "scenery" of the tale is for the most part well-described too.
The tale twists and turns and delights, but sometimes almost gets lost in the minutiae of the descriptions. This is my basic reason for not giving it five stars. I love intricate tales as well as more basic science fiction fare, but sometimes you can be a little too verbose. This is a personal opinion and others would be right to disagree with my thoughts on the matter.
Suffice to say, that I have already bought two other books from this author, set in the same universe, and will be starting one of them as soon as I finish this review.
Final thoughts on the matter?
A good solid read. You will not be disappointed.
Reads like the author was told to make it look like a long book. Lots of irrelevant boring detail in the middle of scenes. Frustrating read, and in the end, nothing really happens. Characters are never really fleshed out and seem to change attitudes at a whim. Boring.
"Fine, enthralling story"
A wonderful imaginative feast, it won't convert you if you are not in the Club, if you are you will love it!
"Persevere as this starts slowly"
I've enjoyed all of Alastair Reynolds' novels and whilst not my favourite this is a very interesting and well written book.
"An OK start to an over all poor trilogy"
This is book one of a trilogy and is by far the best of the series, draws you in even if a bit repetitive and far too long.
The scope feels grand, the detail impresses but starts to wear thin when you realise he will go into this much detail about every trivial thing.
The ending is disappointing but better than the next two volumes.
Feels like the author was being paid by the word count, until he gets near the end he wraps things up in cursory manner totally at odds with the rest of book.
I can't really recommend this, there is far better sci-fi out there.
To be honest it took a little while to get into this as I took a while to warm to the narrator. The delivery seemed a little ponderous but once I got use to it, it just became part of the story. The story itself is excellent with Alistair Reynolds producing an excellent environment with a range of characters. Part of the problem I had with the book in the beginning was that the central character wasn't someone I warmed to but as the book progresses and the chapters, like archaeological layers, reveal fresh insight I enjoyed the book more and more. This is my first Alistair Reynolds book and on the basis of this I will be getting a few more.
"Where the Space Opera begins"
If you are new to Science Fiction of this sort, this is a great place to start. Alastair Reynolds has created a Universe that rewards perserverance. John Lee reads this brilliantly and introduces subtle accents for the characters so you can follow who is talking. As with most good books, you will get even more out of a second listen.
I read this book originally when it first came out and I was hooked from start the finish. It is slow to start; it is very heavy in places; some of the science does require an advanced understanding of astrophysics. But, the story is excellent and gripping; the main characters (Dan Sylveste; Ilya Volyova; Sajaki) are nasty and wholey engratiating. The story is well read (with some dubious accents), and I got more in the telling of the story that the reading of it.
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