But their little colony has just received an unexpected visitor: an avenging angel with the power to lead mankind to safety - or draw down its darkest enemy. And as she leads them to an apparently insignificant moon light-years away, it begins to dawn on Clavain and his companions that to beat one enemy, it may be necessary to forge an alliance with something much worse.
©2008 Alastair Reynolds; (P)2009 Tantor
I am sci-fi fan and I must say that this story is a candidate for all time high on my list.
Creative ideas and emotional characters help the already sound story along in an epic manner.
Note that Redemption Ark really should be read first.
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This is a great book- WAY better than Redemption Ark was, so I'm glad I finally broke down and listened to it. Where Redemption Ark drove me crazy with too much Skade & too much irrational conjoiner behavior, here we just have two intertwining rollicking adventures. not quite as strong as revelation space, but a pleasant surprise.
We start off on the Pattern Juggler world where Redemption Ark ended, with Clavain and the refugees trying to set up a new temporary society. We skip from there to a lighthugger and then to Hele, which is a small world far away from mainstream society. A miracle occured there hundreds of years ago which led to a new religion. There is also a bridge, possibly built by aliens, and Reynolds usual odd ball characters. It's a good ride that pulls you in like many of his best stories.
As much as I like Reynolds, I can't give him a stellar review for Absolution Gap. It's as if he just gave up on the storyline and starting writing minor drama to fill the pages. The ending was horrible, especially having come to think so highly on the Revelation Space opera. All of the sudden, nothing characters pop up that do nothing for the story, and then go away (thankfully) as fast as they arrive, and almost all of the major players I had come to appreciate are killed off in the beginning to be replaced with paper-thin characters that even by the end I can't find myself either liking or hating. If I had to describe Absolution Gap in a word, it would be "blah."
I really expected to like this book, but as it turns out, this book crawls at a slow pace, to many plots and characters. With this many characters, John Lee has problem with the voice of each, John Lee is the one the saves this novel.
I'm a hardcore SiFi fan and I just could not listen to it more than a hour at a time, I would just drift off, especially during the very vebose discription of equipment or gadgets. I guess some readers like those details, but I like a good plot that moves me and keeps me sitting in the car in the drive way awaiting the next turn of the plot.
Sci Fi Reader
I had such high hopes for this book, I loved Chasm City, Revelation Space was good, Redemption Ark was good. This just did not make any sense. Confusing, out of character and the ending was just horrible. What a let down. John Lee does his best here but it does not help.
Here's the thing, it's almost as if Alastair Reynolds got tired of writing this series. He pretty much wraps up the series with a brief epilogue. Alastair could have easily written a whole book which covers the just the epilogue.
This episode picks up nicely after Redemption Ark. Sometimes hard to follow, but still good sci-fi. I really like John Lee as narrator, and generally like books that he does.
Another excellent sic-fi novel by Alastair Raynolds and magnificent performance by John Lee. I've read most of Alastair Raynolds books and always enjoyed his realistic depiction of near future underlined with scientific facts.
Absolution gap picks up after Redemption Ark, continues with the story of human survival against the inhabiters. You can still read this book without the previous book but I recommend to read redemption ark first which is also a fantastic book if you can't wait till all the characters background are covered later in this book.
I had a mix feeling about the ending but right till the very last chapter the story continues on the right expectation path. If you are familiar with Alastrair Reynaldo then you definitely enjoy the ride and accept the twisted endings. Absolution Gap introduces many concepts that on their own right can be a good sic-fi stories. If you like this series then I also recommend Revelation space which is the part one foundation for other standalone books form AR.
I would write a review of the whole series...but why. Why? After spending so much time listening only to be left with something short of nothing as an ending.
Metaphor? Sure...it's a metaphor.
Lazy? That's what I don't quite understand! These novels were work for the writer, obviously. They were entertaining. Yes, there was some amount of over-explanation, but overall, enjoyable. Then, in the end? !Whomp! It's done and over without much of the careful description, back story, care and craft that's preceded the end credits.
Enough to make me pound my head against a desk until I work a better end through sheer delirium!
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