A superb science fiction adventure set in the rubble of a ruined universe, this is a deep space heist story of kidnap, betrayal, alien artifacts, and revenge.
The galaxy has seen great empires rise and fall. Planets have shattered and been remade. Among the ruins of alien civilizations, building our own from the rubble, humanity still thrives.
And there are vast fortunes to be made, if you know where to find them....
Captain Rackamore and his crew do. It's their business to find the tiny, enigmatic worlds that have been hidden away, booby-trapped, surrounded by layers of protection - and to crack them open for the ancient relics and barely remembered technologies inside. But while they ply their risky trade with integrity, not everyone is so scrupulous.
Adrana and Fura Ness are the newest members of Rackamore's crew, signed on to save their family from bankruptcy. Only Rackamore has enemies, and there might be more waiting for them in space than adventure and fortune: the fabled and feared Bosa Sennen in particular.
Revenger is a science fiction adventure story set in the rubble of our solar system in the dark, distant future - a tale of space pirates, buried treasure, and phantom weapons, of unspeakable hazards and single-minded heroism...and of vengeance.
©2016 Alastair Reynolds (P)2017 Hachette Audio
The story is fast-paced and much more dialogue-heavy compared to the author's other books. The audio volume is troublesome for me, however. There are sections when the narrator is whispering quietly followed by much louder exclamations that hurt my ears. I recommend ripping the audio and renormalizing it so you don't have to strain yourself to understand what is being said.
Alastair builds an amazing world in Revenger with a deep history and lots of mysteries. Millions of years in the future, humans are an old race clinging to the surfaces of enourmouse space habitats they do not understand. Primitive ships called Sunjammers use tattered solar sails to sail from world to world - and some even raid abandoned worlds for ancient technology.
The plot was very simple, thats my only complaint - it really felt like young adult fiction.
I just finished listening. I highly recommend it. He has pulled off the Robert Louis Stevenson buccaneers and buried treasure setting in space masterfully. The story is set in a deep and well developed universe that I'm hoping to get a chance to visit again. The narrator Clare Corbett was excellent too. Having this on in the car made my commute much more fun. Ten out of ten on story telling, character and plot. It was pretty high on the suspended disbelief scale. Maybe verging in to the realistic fantasy in space than hard science fiction. But still an operatic story.
Loved the book. A great pirate story with some steam punk to boot. The audio had way too much bass and almost ruined it, but turn the bass down and the treble up and enjoy!!
A departure from Reynolds work. 1st person perspective that took me quite a while to get into. At first I thought I was going to be giving this a very poor review, but after getting into the book (after a binge of hearing John Lee narrate some space marine books) I started to really like it. A bit of a steampunk/Victorian feel to it, but still a lot of fun.
Clare was fine.
Whoever mastered/edited this needs a freaking slap and if I see you at APAC I will. Shame on you! As a narrator myself, under another name, I was shocked at the quality of this. Whoever edited this did not bother to listen through after they ran it through a fairly aggressive noise-gate. When Clare is being quiet, which is quite often, the db drops dramatically where the processor lowers the volume to the point that whole words are barely audible at times. More often the end of soft words are cut off/reduced to near inaudibility. If Clare had been louder in her reading it may not have been a problem, but with her habit of half whispering at times it was extremely annoying and IMO the book should be pulled and re-edited.
recording is terrible. reader whispers too often, and is hard to hear and understand. the story is decent but I'm not sure it makes up for the struggle to understand.
This book is a sadness for me. The author has a very rich imagination and excellent feel for the steampunk genre. Set in some very, very distant future he envisions a unique view of how it all turns out for humanity. The language is interesting and settings truly interesting.
And endlessly described.
The story is conventional but has some interesting twists. Something happens. The protagonist develops a mission. Reversals occur. Hijinx ensue.
That are endlessly described.
At any moment the story and setting is likely to be interesting. I got 80% of the way the way through it before I realized that I still had no real appreciation for the intentions of the protagonist and that I was never going to be interested enough in the outcome to put up with more endless, unproductive detail.
I might have still stuck with it. After all, I only had five chapters to go, but, I became annoyed at another systemic flaw beyond toleration. With all of the virtues of the prose and imagination, the author was way too loose with the logical links between things.
For example, an event occurs where someone does something truly heinous to the protagonist for a prolonged period. There are musings in the aftermath where the protagonist refers to the offending character in a warm emotional tone appropriate only to the relationship before and completely, insanely discordant considering the awful things that were done.
This sort of weird disconnect happens with motivations, actions, plot twists and, if it weren't for the obviously immense effort of the richly detailed world, would suggest laziness. As it is, I can't really understand how the editors didn't say, "Alistair, you really need to tighten this up. Nobody would [act that way, do that thing, be able to guess that, etc]."
I quite liked the narration. It is done with a chewy, working class English accent. Sometimes a little thick for my American ears to comprehend but, for me, that's a good thing. The characterizations were clear. Sometimes a little overwrought, but I liked them. As some have said, things were occasionally a little whispery and hard to hear. Not a big deal. I'd listen to her again happily.
I'll try this author again someday. The world and viewpoint and use of language was appealing. However, this book eventually became tedious.
First, the narration was a real issue for me. Ultimately, Clare did really grow on me and I loved her voice and investment in her telling, but the changes in volume were a mess. I had to have the volume high to hear some of her characters because her voice was so quiet, but then cover my ears when she boomed out the voice of another character. Ultimately, I realized that if I had been listening at home, eyes closed and headphones on, I would have been immersed in her storytelling. But when I have those breaks I read, I don't listen to audiobooks. Her voice and talent was therefore lost on me.
The book was engaging, fun, offbeat, but also incomplete and lacking the bones of a full story. (Yes, I know, it actually does have bones in it). It feels like an earmark for a greater story, and I'm really quite sad that I didn't get to have more than a glimpse of this universe from far outside the congregation and through only one set of naive and impetuous eyes. I adore our young Miss Ness, but she was not nearly as inquisitive or fascinated as I. Listen to this (in a quiet place) as a fun and engaging diversion, but expect to be left with an appetite that this story does nothing to satiate.
As usual, Reynolds creativity and originality is the star of the show. His ideas are never derivative and always thought provoking. However, while the setting and back story of the narrative is interesting, the story itself is rather tedious. The protagonist is the usual youngster who becomes toughened by circumstance. Put a different narrative in this setting and you would have a winner.
While the story is a good one and I would have been surprised if it wasn't coming from this author. The choice of using terminology that would have been more at home in a steam punk book was an interesting choice which made the world different in a good way. I hope to see another story set in this world soon!
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