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Publisher's Summary

Elysium Fire is a smoldering tale of murderers, secret cultists, tampered memories, and unthinkable power, of bottomless corruption and overpowering idealism from the king of modern space opera.

Ten thousand city-state habitats orbit the planet Yellowstone, forming a near-perfect democratic human paradise.

But even utopia needs a police force. For the citizens of the Glitter Band that organization is Panoply, and the prefects are its operatives.

Prefect Tom Dreyfus has a new emergency on his hands. Across the habitats and their hundred million citizens, people are dying suddenly and randomly, victims of a bizarre and unprecedented malfunction of their neural implants. And these "melters" leave no clues behind as to the cause of their deaths....

As panic rises in the populace, a charismatic figure is sowing insurrection, convincing a small but growing number of habitats to break away from the Glitter Band and form their own independent colonies.

For more from Alastair Reynolds, check out:

Revenger

©2018 Alastair Reynolds (P)2018 Hachette Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Zach
  • Smyrna, GA United States
  • 01-25-18

Reynolds fan left cold

There are things I love about Alastair Reynolds but this isn’t one of them.

It’s boring. If you’ve read “the Prefect” then you know what’s going to happen and this story offers nothing new in any category.

Normally, Reynolds’ imagination makes up for the story short comings. The thing is.. I was so looking forward to this book and have tried to make every allowance for it.

However..

This book stimulates in me the the void of any stimulation or interest in the story of itself.

The only reason I write this negative review is out of consideration for other Alastair Reynolds fans.

Save your credit and wait to see what other reviewers say.

30 of 34 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Oh what twisted minds we get...

... when we do it for a bet

The story's architecture is split between a coming-of-age antagonist duo and an enforcement system meant to ensure that the democratic system is secure for the populace on the asteroid ring, Glitter Band, around the planet Yellowstone.

The SciFi elements of the story mostly evolve around brain implants that can mentally reshape nano-material like Play-Doh, police bot-dogs that can unfold from a hip truncheon and virtual AI sentient holograms. However, these mostly play as backdrops to the race to find and stop what seems to be a pandemic in the making that threatens wreak havoc on an otherwise peaceful society.

In typical Alastair Reynolds fashion, he spends a considerable amount of time creating the world and the various set of characters who play key roles in the story. John Lee also expertly narrates these characters giving each a distinct voice including genders, adults and children.

There's lots of twists and turns along the way.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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Such a disappointment?

The story was so boring and predictable. I really miss the Alistair of old. I don't think I can ever read another one of his books after this one. save your money and get something else.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

another hit by Alistair Reynolds

Good story, same characters that are in some of the previous books but it's like slipping into a warm bath, it's fairly comfortable. I typically love John Lee and love his narration, it's just that when he's doing some of the female voices he gets so flowery and it's almost distracting how delicately he tries to convey the women's voices. overall, it's still a great read and I really enjoyed it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Another wonderful performance from John Lee

Just can't get enough of Reynolds' Revelation Space books, or anything he writes, in fact.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Paul
  • Providence, RI, USA
  • 05-25-18

Great mind candy

I confess that I am entirely hooked on this series. If you want profundity look elsewhere, but if you are looking for space opera / far future police procedural, you are in the right place.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Classic Alastair Reynolds

There he is. The Alastair Reynolds I love and have missed. If you liked any of the Prefect / Chasam City novels, you won’t be disappointed in this one.

John Lee could read the dictionary to me and listen with wrapped bliss.

What are you waiting for, an invitation?

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Prefect Dreyfus is perfect

Elysium's Fire, Alastair Reynolds latest offering from his Revelation Space universe occurs temporally as a follow-on from the Prefect with the Glitter Band surrounding Yellowstone still in its glory. This time, a series of unexplained brain implant meltdowns has Panoply in a panic as the circuits seem corrupted or hackable. At the same time, there is a serious threat for total anarchy as a movement to withdraw from Panoply is gaining steam. Dreyfus, along with assistance from junior prefects, including a hyperpig plunge into an investigation that opens past history and requires collaboration with Aurora who is still battling the watchmaker from the last installment.

Reynolds' sci-fi elements are in line with earlier Revelation Space episodes. History on the development of the fool-proof polling software is offered along with human cloning. The versatility of the whiphounds is on full display (and would make a great Xmas gift). Of particular note is the employment of a virtual landscape as a holding pen for the beta versions of the murder victims for frequent questioning. At its heart, this is a gritty gumshoe detective story, dredging up ancient history and covered up crimes with plenty of twists and turns, along with a good mix of action scenes, and cerebral investigative work.

John Lee's narration is a sheer joy to experience. His command of the range of characters, of both genders as well as children is beyond amazing. His pacing and tone enhance the prose and bring the action to life, along with the literary excellence giving a cinematic feel to the performance.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Very clever but less captivating than previous

I enjoyed this book. Characters very strong. Moral situations quite thought provoking. The glitter band setting shone somewhat dimmer than in previous works in the series. The story seems to have been constructed for the sake of the twists, not the other way around.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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Still Glittering

All is not well in the thousands of obiting habitats know as the Glitter Band, circling the planet Yellowstone. Prefect Tom Dreyfus is investigating mysterious seemingly random deaths of occupants of the utopian society, searching for the cause of the malfunctioning neural implants. These implants in most of the citizens brains are used for rapid communication with each other and voting on issues. One by one peoples brains are frying and the body count is rising. In parallel runs a story taking place 30 years in the past with two twin brothers from a prominent family who have power to manipulate quick matter. It is clear they are being groomed for something but what? All we know is that it will tie in with the present mystery.

The Prefects normally investigate voting fraud and the present day murders are in the realm of their work. There is no common thread linking the victims. The who, what and why of these deaths is such a mystery Dreyfus will have to work fast to prevent wide spread panic. Still there is no love for the hard working Prefects as they are bullied and beaten throughout the story. Whiphounds, their only weapons, prove insufficient against mob violence.

I feel like there is so much going on in this book that sets the ground work for the changing of the fabulous Glitter Band utopia of peace and wealth into the future neighborhood gone to crap Rust Belt that may have to go back and re-read The Prefect, (now titled Aurora Rising) and Chasm City again. There are a few themes from the previous novel that continue. Dreyfus has to interview his best witness who is a the Beta versions of the dead and still keep his cool detachment from them even though she exudes all the humanity of their previous living counterparts. And again, the beta levels probe Dreyfus for information about himself and carefully turn the tables on him by asking questions he rather not answer. And my favorite and the most charming character from the previous book, Aurora, slithers back, offering Dreyfus help but at a price. I like the entire Revelation Space series although I really like this prequel which give us insight into what went wrong in the Glitter Band. This is a complex and intricate world but this book is basically a police procedural set in the future.

Corruption, memory erasing, riots, secret societies and melting brains. What's not to like? Excellent fast pace addition to the growing space opera. I would suggest reading the first book in this series, which came out 10 years ago now titled "Aurora Rising", before picking up this one.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful