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3.0 out of 5 starsnot about the "Dread ship Ramora"
Reviewed in the United States on June 12, 2011
For those of you who have read the first " The Scattered Earth " fair warning this book has nothing to do with the original. There is no mention of The "Ramora" at all.This Book is more of a steam punk novel than anything else. Although much like the first novel it starts a bit slow but ends leaving you wanting more. After reading both I find myself wondering if maybe there is a book in the future tying the completely different story lines together.This one however is about a crumbling civilization, politics ,religious devotion to a dying infrastructure.Until something from space crashes into capital city forcing a change in both the political and religious doctrines. Allowing the suppressed scientific advancements to finally be used to fix what was considered sacred and untouchable.Not a bad read lets hope the next story in "the Scattered Earth" series follows one story line or the other both have great potential.
5.0 out of 5 starsAn imaginative and uplifting tale of new beginnings
Reviewed in the United States on June 30, 2011
The second in the Scattered Earth Tales - a collaboration with Aaron Rosenberg and Steven Savile - The Second Veil begins with our hero Euphrankes being banished from the city of Urv for daring to show initiative that runs counter to the established ways, in a scene reminiscent of the Rush epic 2112.
What's needed is a short,sharp shock - which arrives in the form of space debris that crashes through the protective bubble of the First Veil and threatens the whole existence of not only Urv, but the whole planet too.
Euphrankes and his team quickly set out from their Outpost to rescue Urv, and a chain of events unfolds that lifts the tale from harsh repression into hope for survival, and then the grand designs of exploration as the decision is taken to send Euphrankes and his crew of the Airship Tangent out beyond the Second Veil to seek out the mythical Protectors and anyone else that may be out there. We follow the transformation of our hero and his team from dissidents to brave explorers, and an equal change in the High Council and the Priests as they learn to force off the old accepted ways for the good of their people.
Written with energy and flowing descriptions, the story combines a sound explanation of Urv's technology and history, and a unique twist on travel via Veil protected roads and Airships. Countless discoveries and events draw the reader inexorably to the point of departure as the Author weaves the threads of the story into a glittering climax.
The Scattered Earth Tales promise to be a rich universe of action and storytelling, and The Second Veil is well worth reading as you begin it's exploration. Any fans of Stargate and Babylon 5 work are well advised to read this too.
5.0 out of 5 starsSpace Opera with a Steampunk Twist
Reviewed in the United States on May 8, 2011
"Part of a Shared Universe Series of books this is DNW's intro to the series. A world with cities and roads underneath ancient domes, the Veils, that is slowly decaying... the world is barren save for rich mineral deposits and heavy metals and the at...morePart of a Shared Universe Series of books this is DNW's intro to the series. A world with cities and roads underneath ancient domes, the Veils, that is slowly decaying... the world is barren save for rich mineral deposits and heavy metals and the atmosphere is thin. Only the domes and ancient air scrubbers keep the cities viable. As the technology slowly fades and the roads fall apart, Engineers have risen to try and stop the Fall. Inventing airlocks and airships (the steampunkish element of this Space Opera.)
One Engineer, Euphrankes, has the vision to go beyond the Second Veil, sort of a bubble around the entire planet, to venture into Space to seek anything that might save the people. Going beyond the Second Veil is Blasphemy, and he is met with scorn and Banishment. Then one day a chunk of debris, a Relic... or fragment of technology plummets through the Veils and crashes into the great city of Urv.
Euphrankes difies his banishment to rush to the aid of the city and with the evidence of some type of life beyond the Second Veil, he is granted permission to finish his Great Ship, the Tangent, and ready a crew to go forth and explore.
And that's just the beginning of the book...
Three Authors. Three Worlds. Three Storylines. One Grand Setting. Read each set and then read beyond to see how they all reconnect: The Scattered Earth's
4.0 out of 5 starsFresh and fun mixture of Jules Verne and Arthur C. Clarke
Reviewed in the United States on April 9, 2011
A quick and surprisingly compelling read. Wilson deftly combines elements of steam punk with a plot reminiscent of Arthur C. Clarke's "The City and the Stars" (one of my favorite SF books of all time). In this long novella, giant airships, ancient artifacts, and larger-than-life heroes and heroines populate an inhospitable world of ancient, and rapidly disintegrating technology. When a mysterious object from outside the Second Veil (a force field that surrounds the planet) crashes into one of the domed cities, it sets into motion a chain of events that will forever alter the culture, religion, and future of the planet. Only dauntless airship inventor Euphrankes Holmynn has the technical ability to save the city - if only the city elders will trust him and his heretical ideas.
Wilson has written and published over a dozen novels, including original Star Trek and Stargate novels. I've read many of these and this is one of his best. I noticed in the foreword that this novel is a part of a larger, multi-author universe called "Shattered Earths." I plan to check out the other stories in the series and will write reviews.
All in all, a very entertaining read, perfect for a rainy cold Saturday (like today). I highly recommend it to anyone who is a fan of SF, steam punk, and heroes with big ideas.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 18, 2011
The Second Veil by David Niall Wilson is set within the Scattered Universe a collaborative effort by a number of authors. In this book we learn of the people who inhabit the city of URV a self contained doomed(Veiled)community on a world whose atmosphere has been corrupted. Euphrankes an intelligent and independent thinking young man sees the end of their world coming while the council and religious faction are happy to maintain the status quo but when a piece of technology from outside of their world crashes through the Veil he seizes his chance to push ahead with the construction of a vessel to leave the world and search out the legendary protectors who first built the veils. In many aspects the book follows similar themes to The Birth of the Dread Remora in terms of a people looking beyond their restrictive lives and pushing beyond what they know armed with only their hopes, dreams and ingenuity. The characters on all sides are fleshed out well throughout the book and grow as the circumstances dictate in a manner which doesn't seem forced and eventually like Remora you have a core group of characters who you want to follow through the Veil.