We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
Call anytime(888) 283-5051
The Prefect | [Alastair Reynolds]

The Prefect

Tom Dreyfus is a Prefect, a law enforcement officer with the Panoply. His beat is the multifaceted utopian society of the Glitter Band, that vast swirl of space habitats orbiting the planet Yellowstone, the teeming hub of a human interstellar empire spanning many worlds. His current case: investigating a murderous attack against one of the habitats that left 900 people dead, a crime that appalls even a hardened cop like Dreyfus.
Regular Price:$38.49
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Publisher's Summary

Tom Dreyfus is a Prefect, a law enforcement officer with the Panoply. His beat is the multifaceted utopian society of the Glitter Band, that vast swirl of space habitats orbiting the planet Yellowstone, the teeming hub of a human interstellar empire spanning many worlds. His current case: investigating a murderous attack against one of the habitats that left 900 people dead, a crime that appalls even a hardened cop like Dreyfus. But then his investigation uncovers something far more serious than mass slaughter---a covert plot by an enigmatic entity who seeks nothing less than total control of the Glitter Band. Before long, the Panoply detectives are fighting against something worse than tyranny, in a struggle that will lead to more devastation and more death. And Dreyfus will discover that to save what is precious, you may have to destroy it.

©2008 Alastair Reynolds (P)2011 Tantor

What the Critics Say

"A fascinating hybrid of space opera, police procedural and character study.... This is solid British SF adventure, evoking echoes of le Carre and Sayers with a liberal dash of Doctor Who." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (1182 )
5 star
 (495)
4 star
 (445)
3 star
 (176)
2 star
 (41)
1 star
 (25)
Overall
4.2 (940 )
5 star
 (414)
4 star
 (343)
3 star
 (130)
2 star
 (38)
1 star
 (15)
Story
4.4 (940 )
5 star
 (512)
4 star
 (304)
3 star
 (92)
2 star
 (18)
1 star
 (14)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Michael G. Kurilla ROCKVILLE, MD, United States 04-03-11
    Michael G. Kurilla ROCKVILLE, MD, United States 04-03-11 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    670
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    443
    149
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    255
    0
    Overall
    "Best yet of the Revelation Space series"

    Reynolds again demonstrates why he is among the top of contemporary sci-fi writers. Readers familiar with the Revelation Space series will recall Chasm City which was centered on the Yellowstone system. In that tale, surrounding the planet was a mass of space detritus known as the Rust Belt. Its state was the result of an undefined prior event known as the melding plague that destroyed nearly all nanotech. In Prefect, Reynolds sets the story prior to Chasm City when the Rust Belt was at its pinnacle and known as the Glitter Band. Encompassing 10,000 discreet and sovereign habitats, Reynolds explores the diversity and evolution of human societal organization (from voluntary tyranny to demoncratic anarchy). The conjoiners as well as Silveste remnants and the shrouders also play a small role.

    Holding the hodge-podge together is our hero, Tom Dreyfus, a prefect who enforces the minimal rules for orderly interaction among the habitats. From what begins as a routine investigation, Dreyfus gradually peels back the onion of an ever expanding conspiracy that threatens the entire Glitter Band. Along the way, he must face, the corrupt, the gullible, the naive, and the idiotic, but he always manages to remain focused on his ultimate objective: seeing that justice is served.

    As is typical of Reynolds, the sci-fi is first rate. He also has a knack for instinctively recognizing that unique interaction of science and society and the likely results. At the heart, the tale is an exploration of the human struggle to evolve beyond mere biology with all the potential pitfalls clearly displayed. Finally, as usual John Lee performs outstandlingly; his range of voices are superb and he sets the right tenor to allow the tension to develop.

    33 of 33 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Morgenstern San Francisco 03-30-11
    David Morgenstern San Francisco 03-30-11 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    30
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    26
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    3
    0
    Overall
    "Excellent hard science crime fiction"

    This is a fun hard sci-fi story that is also an excellent crime novel. Yes, I admit that I am a fan of sci-fi/fantasy crossover crime stories. A sucker some might say. But this story offers way more than the usual fare. I really was sorry to come to the end of the story.

    The Prefect presents plenty of terrific sci-fi society and sci-fi justice ideas, along with plot twists and cliff-hangers. Instead of a private eye, Reynolds presents a futuristic police procedural. The story isn't set on Earth but in a loose alliance of space habitats called the Glitter Belt.

    Still, the main character is hard boiled and his backstory is revealed over the course of the novel. Artificial intelligences bad.

    Narrator John Lee may be an acquired taste to some, bringing an astonishing range of British and European accents. The Glitter Belt in the far far future isn't speaking with an American accent.

    25 of 26 people found this review helpful
  •  
    wendy NJ 08-30-11
    wendy NJ 08-30-11 Member Since 2004

    Tell us about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    271
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    101
    43
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    28
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Gripping and delightful"

    This is one of my favorite stories, and the audiobook version is fantastic. What a great trip to a new universe, to a totally new world that is so beautifully brought to life!

    And the story can really stand up to the crazy environment it unfolds in... I found it gripping and was drawn in. I was really sad when it ended!


    16 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Troy Brandon, FL, United States 05-04-12
    Troy Brandon, FL, United States 05-04-12 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    120
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    266
    27
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "OMG! Glad I gave it another try."

    I had previously lemmed this book twice. I kept wanting to read it out of order; being a stand-alone book I thought that would not be a problem. I would get a few chapters in and I would give up because the character strings were too complicated for me to follow. When I picked it up this time, after having read all the previous books in his Revelation Space universe, I fell into it like a fish in water. This is my favorite of all his books. This is the first of his books I am rating with 5 stars. The writing is crisp, suspenseful and as always imaginative. What an incredible ride this book was. I loved it.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tango Texas 11-30-13
    Tango Texas 11-30-13 Member Since 2012

    Two great passions - dogs and books! Sci-fi/fantasy novels are my go-to favorites, but I love good writing across all genres.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1088
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    421
    124
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    241
    13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The Prefect is Perfect"

    Just coincidentally, I have recently listened to three sci-fi novels that all begin as police procedurals with law-enforcement agents investigating a localized crime that expands into a much more cosmic, universal mystery - The Prefect, The Great North Road, and Leviathan Wakes. The Prefect was by far the best of the three. Not only does The Prefect benefit from Reynold's elegant, evocative writing which is a cut above most other sci-fi writers, these are some of Reynold's best characters (primary protagonists and antagonists fleshed out with great back stories), the tightly woven plot is riveting with multiple twists, and the setting, The Glitter Band, is one of the coolest concepts from Revelation Space. Jon Lee does a bang-up job on this book - this is one where the Reynolds-Lee combo makes for a terrific audiobook. The Prefect will be an enjoyable listen for anyone who loves hard sci-fi even if you haven't read any of the Revelation Space trilogy, but if you have read the trilogy, the new stories of Philip Lascaille and Dan Sylveste in The Prefect will be extra fun.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Colin Detroit 09-24-11
    Colin Detroit 09-24-11 Member Since 2009

    Thanks Audible for your continued support of "This Week in Tech" over at TWiT.tv

    HELPFUL VOTES
    149
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    109
    78
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    24
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A possible explanation for the melding plague?"

    Its Alastair Reynolds, and all his stuff is great for the most part, I like the way that Dreyfus has a Hyperpig as a partner or deputy Sparver is great and from listening to the other books he reminds me of Scorpio which is cool.

    This is sorta a prequel to Chasm City because its before the Melding Plague, but this book was written after that book so if you like Reynolds stuff you probably already read that one - this is no problem because although this takes place before the Melding Plague its sorta a story of its own unlike the trilogy of Revelation Space, Redemption Ark, and Absolution Gap this book like Chasm City was a story that's just in the same universe as them, and Chasm City is the name of the city on the Planet or Moon named Yellowstone that the Glitter Band (latter re-named the rust belt) orbits a large gas giant with 10,000+ habitats.

    The 10,000+ habitats are all self sufficient but all vote and that voting is policed by Panoply but they only insure fare voting, they dont care what else goes on inside the habitats - some are VT's or "Voluntarily Tyranny" where people actually want to be controlled, mostly this goes bad and there is nothing that can be done about it.

    The good thing about this is that there are some technologies that are talked about in the other books but arent used anymore because of the Melding Plague, which is nice to see them used.

    John Lee does a good job as usual but he really only has about 3-5 voices and mostly uses 2-3 of them at most - you have to get over this because its hard to follow because at times you can forget who is talking but thats OK because you figure it out pretty fast.

    The end IMO hints at a possible explanation to the Melding Plague that is a large part of the other 4 books set in the universe, the Clockmaker and Aurora fighting it out, maybe after a time they combine forces and unwittingly create the Melding Plague?

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Houston, TX, United States 02-01-12
    David Houston, TX, United States 02-01-12 Member Since 2008

    Actor/director/teacher. Split my time between Beijing and Seattle now. Listen to Audible on the subway and while driving. Love the reviews.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1189
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    478
    150
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    303
    14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Nice blending of genres"

    This was my first Reynolds book; I'm sure it will not be my last. I was impressed by his ability to combine a well realized science fiction setting with the elements of a contemporary thriller while also incorporating some of the character building associated with our better mystery writers. The result was that, after a somewhat plodding opening, I was fairly riveted for the remainder of the twenty hours. I cared about the characters, even some of the minor ones; I was fascinated by the milieu, and I could relate to the impending catastrophe in a way which compelled my attention.

    Along the way, the author also manages to raise questions about the nature of evil and the trade offs between liberty, security and well being, and he does it with a light touch, never resorting to tiresome polemics. Happily he also never provides easy answers.

    Narrators are probably the aspect of Audible listening most captive to individual tastes. Many people loved John Lee's work on this book. I did not. For me, a five star narration is one which adds to the work the author has done, not only consistent with it but building upon it to add understanding and delight. Narration which is simply and artfully invisible, never drawing attention to itself but always offering clarity and accuracy, is worth four stars. Lee's flat, almost metallic tone occasionally irritated me, and I did sometimes have to wonder who was speaking--so three stars. Certainly not enough to keep me from listening to another Reynolds book even if he were the narrator.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julius Butcher Overijse, Belgium 08-27-12
    Julius Butcher Overijse, Belgium 08-27-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    35
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    108
    45
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    8
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Entertaining listen"

    I have read a few books from Reynolds several years ago, and I did like them. I was satisfied with The Prefect too. Actually, more than satisfied, I liked it very much.

    Being a scifi fan, I always enjoy good science fiction stories. The Prefect is one of those which feels real. It happens in the future, in a far galaxy. The people use technology we just dream about today. There are futuristic habitats, which are members of an utopian democracy. But in spite of these, the story feels like it really happens. Reynolds makes the it so.

    I listened to the audiobook version, and I can recommend it if you want a good book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Eric Koch MONTEVALLO, AL, US 08-14-12
    Robert Eric Koch MONTEVALLO, AL, US 08-14-12 Member Since 2010

    Tell us about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    62
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    37
    37
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    13
    6
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Stellar Prequel to Revelation Space"
    Any additional comments?

    For my money, it doesn't get any better than Alastair Reynolds. He has become the master of hard Science Fiction, particularly his Revelation Space series. This book serves as a prequel to the events of both Chasm City and The Revelation Space Trilogy. The Prefect is, at its heart, a police procedural yet it functions as a vital piece of the overall story that plays out through the four other Revelation Space novels. The book is written as well as any mystery out there and it's easily one of the best Science Fiction novels of 2007. As for the narration - I admit that I strongly disliked John Noble as the narrator at first, particularly his plethora of regional English, Welsh, and Scottish accents but having now listened to a half dozen of his narrations of Reynold's works he's grown on me and I've come to enjoy his narration.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Doug D. Eigsti Colorado Springs, Colorado United States 02-05-14
    Doug D. Eigsti Colorado Springs, Colorado United States 02-05-14 Member Since 2011

    Increasing my ops tempo by allowing storytellers to whisper in my ear(buds).

    HELPFUL VOTES
    100
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    124
    114
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    4
    25
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Few Good Things"

    What is going on here? I don’t know if there is something wrong with me or that Alastair Reynolds is just a very inconsistent writer. I have truly enjoyed some parts of every one of his books, but, except for CHASM CITY, none has kept up the magic all the way through. His other works all seem to get bogged down with convoluted far-future concepts that are so far removed from actual human experience so as to be incomprehensible. You can listen to them just for those gems but there is a lot mush to slog through to get to those precious stones. I began listening to Alastair Reynolds based on the recommendation of several fellow listeners who had touted him as the modern-day master of Space Opera Science Fiction. They recommended the novel CHASM CITY as the best introduction to his Revelation Space series. And they were right. CHASM CITY is fantastic. It is the most accessible of all the novels in the series. It is the best written, has the best characters and the most fantastic “sense of wonder” technology of them all. I have now listened to, REVELATION SPACE, REDEMPTION ARK, ABSOLUTION GAP, and now THE PREFECT.. This novel THE PREFECT does have some nice blending of detective fiction with SF but is misses on so many levels. One of the prime characteristics of the Detective Fiction genre are the gritty hard-edged characters. Listening to this book actually affected my mood. My expectations were so high going in that I really needed this one to be great. After the wonderful introduction to Alastair Reynolds that I had with CHASM CITY; I hung in there through the three central novels of the series, and THE PREFECT, thinking that surely there would be a big, big payoff after so much SF world building background. I mean I hung in there for over 100 hours of John Lee whispering in my ear about indoctrinal viruses, Inhibitor genocide machines, processing Cathedrals, inertial inhibitors, Alternate Universes, longevity treatments, baseline humans, Conjoiner Ultras, Time Travel, Cryo-arithmetic engines, and talking pigs, and I wanted some reward. I got bupkis. I believe I can safely say that the best way to enjoy the Revelation Space series is to start by listening to CHASM CITY and then…stop.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 45 results PREVIOUS125NEXT
Sort by:
  • Patrick
    Morpeth, United Kingdom
    9/19/11
    Overall
    "Prefect near perfect"

    I was charmed and enthralled by the imaginative scope of this novel, the poor review I had read almost put me off, I am so glad it didn't! Great story, well drawn together at the end , with the hint of a sequel, perhaps? Is this what irked the negative reviewer? The characters lived for me and reflected weaknesses and strengths, making the dilemmas resonate for me. Not a 5 , but a worthy 4.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • A User
    3/24/11
    Overall
    "keep them coming"

    A.R. keeps writing these excellent books with very imaginative storylines which enables the reader to conjure up fantastic images of the characters and vistas used in his stories. Keep them coming Alastair.

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Matthew
    United Kingdom
    6/7/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not Alastair Reynolds' best"

    First the performance: I've listened to a bunch of books narrated by John Lee. I don't like him. I don't like his clipped style, and the way every sentence has the same intonation. When I come to a John Lee book from a better performer I always find him intensely irritating for about 2 hours or so. However, inevitably I do get used to him. Eventually he stops being distracting, so he's far from the worst.

    As for the book, I've listen to all the rest of the other books set in this universe and enjoyed them, although I completely agree that Alastair Reynolds can't write endings. Well, couldn't: this book comes to a definite resolution. The ending is ok. Compared to his other books, though, the meat of the book is weak. The plot unfolds linearly, and relies in many places on supposedly professional people inexplicably failing to make obvious decisions, which then turn out ok due to Deus ex Machina. For example, when the chief protagonist baulks at an extremely tough decision because of the ethical implications, I was left feeling he was an obstructionist idiot rather than a moral crusader. Of course it works out for him in the end, but via a mechanism which didn't exist at the time of the original decision. Panoply is supposed to be a civilisation-spanning government/police force. The image I was left with was of a parish council.

    All in all this book is more like a Peter F Hamilton than previous Alastair Reynolds. Plenty of sci-fi action to keep you interested and listening, but weak plot and characterisation.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, United States
    12/23/12
    Overall
    "Top class Reynolds"

    This is Reynolds at his absolute best. Fast paced, tense and with all the usual slightly disturbing Reynolds imagination.



    Although it's set before the Redemption Ark and Chasm City books, you'll enjoy it all the more if you've already read (or listened to) those earlier books.



    John Lee is flawless, as usual.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Robert
    Marlow, United Kingdom
    3/27/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not bad at all"

    I've gone through a bout of Alastair recently. Took me a while to get into his first one in this universe, but once I did, I've gone through them all. Like other people say, Alistair is weak when it comes to satisfying endings.

    Out of all the books in the series (and I know this is a bit of a side-line story) I think it was the best. You could probably listen to it without listening to anything else in the series and get 95% of the enjoyment out of it.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ashley
    ALDERSHOT, United Kingdom
    8/23/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Awesome Book"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Prefect to be better than the print version?

    I havent read the print version, but I am a big fan of alastair reynolds


    What did you like best about this story?

    Fast paced, full of action and thrilling all the way through


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    The revelation towards the end about the clockmaker - brilliant


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    at nearly 20 hours, that would have been difficult.


    Any additional comments?

    Thouroughly recommended, one of his best books yet.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    Kent UK
    5/16/12
    Overall
    "An absolute cracker"

    This is the first novel, chronologically, in Alastair Reynolds' "Revelation Space" series, though it stands on its own without problem. And it's an absolute cracker - wonderfully well-drawn SF backdrop, great characters and complicated plot, and a driving narrative that never lets up. There are one or two holes in the plot, but these are forgiveable, and I thought the ending well judged, unlike one of the other reviewers.

    John Lee narrates superbly - great pace, well judged tone and draws the characters very well.

    Best book in the RS series, and recommended.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • James
    Wakefield, United Kingdom
    6/19/11
    Overall
    "Reynolds can not write 'endings'"

    This book has a great plot, and builds up beautifully with multiple protagonists, but then all that tension and potential for excitement just dissipates away like so much nebula gas.


    Part of me only wants to give it 1 star, but it was so good for so long, that I can't quite lower the score that far.


    Sadly, this is the second Alastair Reynolds book I have read, and for the second time I have been very disappointed by the ending. Admittedly the previous book was only the first in the 'Revelation Space' trilogy; but 'The Prefect' is a stand alone book set in the same universe, and again I feel betrayed by the ending.

    And reviews of the final book in the 'Revelation Space' trilogy would seem to show he can't even write 'endings' for sequences of books, never mind single books.


    So much potential followed by so much disappointment means I won't be buying any other Reynolds books from now on.

    2 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • christian
    DOVER, United Kingdom
    12/17/11
    Overall
    "A bit rubbish"

    Go and buy something by Iain M Banks instead. Use Alastair Reynolds as last resort.

    0 of 15 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-9 of 9 results

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.