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
"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)
The Prefect ranks very high in my top five. I just want more of this universe of the glitter band.
I will listen to NO boring book. Old Fav's,Card, King , Hobb. New Fav's, Hill, Scalzi, Sawyer, Interested in Lansdale, Crouch, Konrath
Some will rightly describe this as hard sci-fi, but if by hard you think that means hard to follow, don't worry. I am not the sharpest tool in the shed, but I was able to keep up with the story. There is a lot of tech in the story as it takes place way in the future, but it is all explained well and usually twice.
In the future there will be 10,000 man-made habitats orbiting a planet. In these habitats will be whatever a society wants. In one habitat over a million people live, but to save resources they are mostly heads living in a suitcase size box. In one state everyone is extremely wealthy, but too stay that way they have a lottery, in which the one chosen is slowly tortured. Movies of the torture are sold to other habitats. Some habitats want a totalitarian state. Most though live in some sort of virtual reality living out there fantasies. The habitats reminded me of an updated Philip Jose Farmer Terra Worlds (on steroids).
The Prefect's job is to keep any one habitat from interfering with any other habitats right to do there own thing. Even in a universe where you can chose from 10.000 different worlds to live in, someone always thinks they have better way to live and that their ways should be imposed on others.
The story kept my interest and there was certainly some interesting tech, but I was never really wowed and I thought 20 hours was too long. I have Revelation Space already in my queue, but after that I will probably not seek out this author.
John Lee has a very unique voice which always takes me a couple of hours to get used to. It distracts from the story. He has few voices. He gave the main character and the main bad guy the exact same voice and he does this with a few of the female characters, so at times there was a hesitation in my head on who was speaking, another distraction.
I'm a Big fan of Fantasy and Sci-Fi. I don't have a long history with reading books but most of what i find is enjoyable. My favorite series i have ever come across is Dresden Files.
This book is amazing, the entirety of the book is based around multiple mysterious entities and events that take form in the Glitter Band. In a very distant future where death can be suspended by digital copies, thousands of space stations each very different from the next all being guarded and regulated by Prefects. These Prefects have the power to uphold justice and order but have limited powers. They face an extinction level event that would wipe out the entire Glitter Band.
This story I found starts out somewhat slow with an investigation, being new to space opera and audible in general i found it somewhat taxing. However soon things begun to unravel turning this book into one of my favorites yet. If you enjoy mysteries, science fiction or crime fighting this great book packs it all into one exciting adventure.
The narrator John Lee did it for me. Listening to the James Clavell books - including Shogun - where he narrates lead me to this book. John Lee is fantastic.
This book is a great read. A good story and good characters. An interesting idea and worrying if we ever get there!
A bit of detective and a bit of Sci Fi. I listen to a lot of Michael Connolly and Ian Rankin and love the underdog but clever detective - Dreyfus here is the same, but set in a a completely different scenario to what I usually read.
I really enjoyed it and could not stop.
One of the better novels of the Revelation Space series, this is a prequel happening before any of the other books including Chasm City. I would have liked to see more of the "wonders" of the Belle'Epoque and I do feel the ending was a bit rushed. One caveat I have with Reynolds' work is that they are not action-packed. He much prefers for the "action" to be the revelation of events through characters' dialogue and info dumps. Overall this is a solid detective story that I would put on par with Chasm City, but still underneath Redemption Ark and House of Suns.
I would recommend this to any frequent reader of Sci Fi. I would also recommend that people read this if they are thinking about reading Reynold's Revelation Space series. I think it creates the setting better so that Revelation Space and the others would be easier to follow. I loved those books, too.
Reynolds creates a different solar system in the distant future and then uncovers a riveting murder mystery in it. His uses of the environments he created was amazing.
There were many interesting scenes so I have a hard time picking one. The Prefect's interactions with the Spider (augmented human) were all interesting. His interrogations of beta and alpha artificial intelligences were cool. His characters called Ultras are cool. The whiphound was a great invention. Each habitat in the Glitter Band was creative. I liked those so much I toyed with the idea of trying to write my own sci fi so that I could create other Glitter Band habitats. That isn't my gig, though, so I hope some other, real authors pick up that thread.
I listened to this book in 2 hour chunks. John Lee's voice becomes so comfortable in my head that I start needing a fix every now and then.
Great science fiction overall. Alastair Reynolds should team up with some Japanese artists and write a series of Manga with hyperpigs as the protagonists.
Yes, John Lee add a lot to the experience of the reading. I got addicted to his reading style.
It's half way between Blade Runner (the dark atmosphere, the internal struggle among the prefects) and some Phil Dicks' novel (the three stigmata of Palmer Eldrich)
The final confrontation
Yes, Alastair Reynolds is always welcomed
The ending was anticlimactic and unsatisfying, felt too contrived and dependent on some element of good in the monsters being faced.
Accurate pacing, voice spot on as emotions change within the book. Really good performance.
Overall, there's good writing here but can't help but compare to Peter Hamilton who tends to have more engaging suspense. It just feels like there wasn't enough oomph to the story.
This is a bad detective novel lent credibility by Reynolds ability to write good speculative fiction. At times, the writing feels lazy and contrived, forcing characters into situations through auspicious circumstances or really poor decision making that fulfill the literary checklist for writing fiction novels. While this may be because Reynolds got bored writing the book and just wanted it to conclude, it feels more like he lacks any real understanding of how large organizations operate, replete with politics and how senior executives operate in their lofty positions. Thus the human side of the story suffers from amateurish over-simplicity while the sci-fi elements try to rescue an increasing irritating plot that was seemingly written for the sole purpose of setting the final chapter's stage.
On the plus side, John Lee's reading was excellent. He delivers his usual range of characterizations, which are both pleasant to listen to and provide a clear picture of whom is speaking and when.
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