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)
Love having someone read me a story. Fires in the hearth, rain on the roof, sunny days and surf. Good friends, good food and J S Bach.
I have a few Reynolds on my Wish List. I like John Lee as a reader.
After a few attempts I finally got in to this story. I am glad I did not pay a lot of money for this one. It is interesting and leaves a lot to be desired. The interest is not so much in the story itself, more at the edge.
Genetic alterations, the notion of Utopia and what constitutes Law are behind and central to this story for me..That got me in.
While the story has the potential to be good, the writing is too "small." A story like this needs multiple storylines and the characters need to be adapted to their technology, The Prefect fell massively short it terms of breadth and depth of characters. It was almost like the characters were dropped from 1950's level of technological understanding into their space-faring society. We are supposed to believe that the technology to travel almost at the speed of light exists in this story but basic understanding of computing capabilities and AI's doesn't exist? Seems odd to me. Combined with a "To Be Continued" type ending, I can't recommend The Prefect.
Narrator John Lee is remarkable: He can suck the life out of any good story. Lee has a deep voice and a fine accent, but those cannot make up for his random inflections, uneven reading style, and complete lack of voice characterization.
I would suggest buying the print copy of this book. Avoid John Lee's narration at all costs.
It took a while to get into but after a few hours it held my interest all the way through. Good story and naration. Some of the technicals lacked imagination but overall it was good.
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