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)
Back in the Yellowstone system this story is set amongst the Glitter band, a group of ten thousand human space habitats that are governed democratically via an organization called Panoply. Each of the habitats have a central stalk that houses a poling core, using abstraction (a hand waving term for network), representatives from each habitat rotate through the civic duty of voting.
This idyllic thing comes crashing to a halt as an Alpha level imprint from the Silvestri 80, Aurora, takes over four habitats and manufactures warbots called Weevils to spread. Meanwhile, a creature from the past called the Clockmaker which was thought destroyed resurfaces to threaten the maybe invincible Aurora.
Field Prefect Tom Dreyfus, Deputy Field Talia Ing, Deputy Field hyper-pig Sparva are just some of the key spicy characters leading the fight against the dark annihilators of humans in this installment. I enjoy how the author juggles multiple story lines into a mesmerizing tapestry of entertainment. Five out of five for this one. Excellent job!
String characters, active plot, fantastic futures and a murder mystery turned fight for humanity's existence. All in a day's work for Alastair Reynolds.
If you haven't read Alistair Reynolds before, then don't start here. Start with House of Suns or Revelation Space. If you have and want to dive deeper into the culture of the Glitter Band, then this is your book. It's a fantastic detective story in that universe.
I very captivating story and one that has a much different storyline than other less known scfi tales. There is room for a follow up and if so I would gladly pick it up.
I have to admit to having developed quite an attachment to both Alastair Reynolds and John Lee. Alastair's storytelling uses highly descriptive details while still moving the story along at a good pace. Life in the large told from the perspective of the individual. Thoroughly enjoyable.
This is just a great story. The main character being an anchor for the reader, while everything else is spinning out of control in interesting, but mostly macabre and value challenging ways.
The writer takes us to a future hopefully humanity will do what is needed to avoid. Can we save ourselves from the stupidity of our own race?
The main character and his partner become our heroes, our hope...
I like intelligent well written science fiction with flawed or developed characters, Frank Herbert, Frederick Pohl, and Alaistar Reynolds.
Started out slower than the usual Reynolds books, but like the others it eases you into the rollercoaster ride. He is a master of science fiction.
Grand storytelling with breath taking conclusion! Leaves me wondering what becomes of Aurora and the Clockmaker.
Best book in series.
Yet another work of art in his Revelation Space opera. I do have to admit that the timeline throws me a bit - this book could almost have happened at the beginning of the series and explain the plague that infects machinery and people on Chasm City, but it seems to be later. I should really start from the beginning of the series and listen again.
Whilst I love this series. I seriously thought that this book 5 would have been a direct continuation in the series. But it was not. Very entertaining but disappointing. Will humanity ever get rid of the "inhibitors"?
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