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Revelation Space Audiobook

Revelation Space

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Publisher's Summary

Nine hundred thousand years ago, something annihilated the Amarantin civilization just as it was on the verge of discovering space flight. Now one scientist, Dan Sylveste, will stop at nothing to solve the Amarantin riddle before ancient history repeats itself.

With no other resources at his disposal, Sylveste forges a dangerous alliance with the cyborg crew of the starship Nostalgia for Infinity. But as he closes in on the secret, a killer closes in on him because the Amarantin were destroyed for a reason. And if that reason is uncovered, the universe - and reality itself - could be irrevocably altered.

©2008 Alastair Reynolds; (P)2008 Tantor

What the Critics Say

"One of the best books of the year." (Science Fiction Chronicle)
"Ferociously intelligent and imbued with a chilling logic - it may really be like this Out There." (Stephen Baxter, co-author of The Light of Other Days)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (2983 )
5 star
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Overall
3.9 (2376 )
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.1 (2374 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
 (105)
Performance
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  •  
    Cyndi Lou from Kalamazoo 09-06-15

    bookaholic

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    "Nearly defeated me"
    What disappointed you about Revelation Space?

    I am an avid reader. I am intelligent enough to understand the most complex equipment mankind produces (aerospace stuff) However, this audiobook is seriously flawed. The story is actually a good one, but it needs significant editing and revision for reader comprehension. Other reviews hinted at the lack of audio cues between sub chapters. The listener easily becomes confused when the story changes from one situation and set of characters, to the next without any indication. I'm still back with Sylveste on some planet and the story has moved on to spaceship ops with Volyova, without any indication, without even a breath or pause in the narrator's delivery. Hence, serious confusion. <br/><br/>To make matters worse, uncommon words are used throughout the story. Words, that are difficult to decipher in context. And difficult to find via Google. Words such as "escritoire" are used throughout the story. I guessed the "scrit" meant writing, and guessed it was a writing desk. However, in the story, that's certainly not clear. No writing went on. I suspect, but don't really know that this word was substituted for something akin to a desktop computer terminal. Other unusual words are simply not described in detail, and take some time to work out. However, by this time, the listener is getting downright annoyed. <br/><br/>Furthermore, John Lee, while highly regarded, really does not perform well here. He has a tendency to get close to the microphone during the first or second word in a sentence, and then trail off the volume by the end of the sentence. This means, that to hear his words in a car, the volume must be very loud. So loud, an early word is ear splitting, and by the end of the sentence, it's impossible to hear. I had to use earbuds to understand him. Not every sentence was this way, but it happened often enough to be really annoying. <br/><br/>In addition, John Lee uses annoying fake accents to denote characters. Many words are nearly unintelligible while driving down the road. Once again, requiring sealed earbuds to hear it clearly enough to understand. His pronunciation is less than clear at times. <br/><br/>Overall, I had to listen to the first third of the book 3 times over, just to understand what was happening. It's really not that complex, just that the writing style and delivery make it incomprehensible. <br/><br/>


    How could the performance have been better?

    Revise and edit the story for clarity. Have the narrator indicate when storyline changes. In other words, insert chapters where there are none.


    What character would you cut from Revelation Space?

    None


    Any additional comments?

    A truly epic story, ruined by failure to edit for clarity and poor narration.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kormander 08-16-15
    Kormander 08-16-15 Member Since 2013

    Tell me about hard sci fi books!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "Nastalgia for Infinity"
    What did you love best about Revelation Space?

    The world building. Reynolds gives a good feel for the Revelation Space universe while not diverting from an entertaining plot.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I like the convergence of the characters' stories. They initially seemed quite unconnected.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The little skirmish on the surface of Resurgam with Khouri and Volyova


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Reynolds is yet to make me cry, but this book has a lot of suspense and excitement.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kevin Stokes Fairport, NY USA 05-26-15
    Kevin Stokes Fairport, NY USA 05-26-15 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "An epic tale spoiled by unlikable characters"

    This book held my interest enough for me to finish listening to all 22 hours, but just barely. The biggest problem with this book was that I didn't particularly like any of the main characters, and therefore didn't care what happened to any of them. As I listen while driving and while working on physical tasks like woodworking, I was frequently completely lost about what was going on. This was due to the author's tendency to throw wild technological ideas at the reader while switching between protagonists with little or no warning that a context switch had occurred.
    For most of the book I had little understanding of the motivations of the protagonists, although it becomes more clear at the end.
    On the positive side, the author did a good job of creating a universe limited by the speed of light. The ship itself was fascinating, an ancient vessel which had over the years become decrepit like a 30 year old automobile which the owners had kept on the road but most of the non-essential features are either broken or have quirks.
    As a space opera, of course the fate of mankind is on the line. The story is original, but the whole crisis seemed rather abstract and really did not have me on the edge of my seat. The narrator does a good job except for the occasional mispronounced word.
    Overall, I thought this book was not terrible, but could have been better. I will not be rushing to get the next book in the series.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephen South Korea 03-18-13
    Stephen South Korea 03-18-13 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good but flawed."
    What did you like best about Revelation Space? What did you like least?

    The book sets up some very interesting premises. I'm curious to see how it all wraps up. <br/><br/>That said, the book moves painfully slow, at times. I wouldn't say any of it was superfluous, everything seemed to have a reason, but there was a lot of time spent with not much happening. <br/><br/>And I agree with previous reviewers that the editing makes it a very hard listen. A lot of times I can multi-task when listening to an audiobook but not much with this one. Even walking to and from work could be a challenge as I had to pay close attention to scene changes or I'd miss them. There literally is no pause between segments.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The explanation for the state of the galaxy was an intriguing one and something I'd not heard before.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    More distinction between character voices. Everyone has almost the same accent. Couple that in with the lousy editing job and you've got a recipe for confusion. Normally I love John Lee's narration but this was not his best work.


    Do you think Revelation Space needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    Pretty sure it has one.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Novie E. Lee 02-11-13 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very little appeal, sorry, but no."

    Fro me, this book is a little hard-core science fiction. I can appreciate that the author is himself a scientist, but maybe that's what got in the way. It has been a few days since I finished this book, and to tell you the truth, I can't remember any of the characters. There is one, Sylveste(?) but I only remember the name because I used to live near Sylvester, GA. See, I couldn't stay on track with the story if nonsense like that kept bubbling up in my mind in the middle of the thing.

    Just so you know I did slog through it, this is what I DID get, that Revelation Space is some kind of liquid planet where when you go swimming, it takes all your personality and knowledge and sometimes gives you back some of the knowledge it's been sucking out of other people. And sometimes it just spits you out, a mass of salmon-colored slime. Apparently some people think this is a great idea, because they are all looking for it.

    1. There was no apparent pause or breath or whatever between the scene changes. I often had to back track to make sure I hadn't dozed off. Only now, by reading other reviews, did I learn that I am not crazy.

    2. The narrator's fakey fakey accents were terribly distracting. Why, in the middle of space, millions of miles from earth, and several centuries forward, are people still talking with accents? I heard French mixed with German, Japanese that sounded like Charlie Chan (and that was fakey to begin with). I think the narrator got confused as to who was speaking with what accent, because at times it appeared like the entire dialogue was coming from a single character. Even when there was no dialogue, the narrator was sometimes reading with an accent...

    3. Another thing, the characters had no character.

    4. And, forget figuring out what gender a person is. The narrator didn't even TRY to sound female. We got all these Russian names, Spanish names, etc. and whatever. I could not figure out what sex these people were. After a while I didn't care.

    I really wasted my time with this one. I have another of this author's books in my library and I am definitely not going to go there. The narrator is the same - oh, joy.

    P.S. I looked this book up on Wikipedia and even after the "glowing" things it has to say about the Revelation Space Universe and Mr. Reynolds, I am not moved.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    LaDerick 10-22-12
    LaDerick 10-22-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Horrible... I could not finish it."
    Would you try another book from Alastair Reynolds and/or John Lee?

    Yes


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Not sure.. I love Doomsday books


    What didn’t you like about John Lee’s performance?

    I love John Lee in other books but this one is Bone Dry!


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment


    Any additional comments?

    I could not get past the first 4 hours.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dennis 08-16-12
    Dennis 08-16-12 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Narrated like reading a History book!"

    I couldn't wait to listen to all the books.
    But after a little while by this Narrator I just couldn't take it. I'm sure the story line must be OK, but it was narrated like a dull history class! They should screen narrators to make sure they can tell a story not just read it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Emanuel Zion, IL, United States 05-10-12
    Emanuel Zion, IL, United States 05-10-12 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Boring!"

    Well, thats just my opinion. It felt like I was watching(Listening) a foreign movie. Felt like the writer wanted to make sure that you know that he was a well read and intelligent individual and he probably is but it made for a trying story that was easy to get confused with.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Midland, MD, United States 03-30-12
    John Midland, MD, United States 03-30-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Probably the most annoying narration ever"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Anybody who really gets a kick out of being thoroughly confused.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    I really couldn't tell. The narrator decided that since everybody had foreign sounding names, that they should all have accents which made deciphering their speech give me a headache.


    Would you be willing to try another one of John Lee’s performances?

    I'd sooner cut off my toes with a boltcutter. His fake French accent for everyone with a French last name was horrendous. His fake Russian accent was worse. Then when a French character spoke to a Russian character he lost all distinction between them and it sounded like an insane person with a speech impediment arguing with himself. <br/>If they ever re-do this book with a different narrator, I'd get it again. As it stands, I had to turn it off after 2 hours. <br/>I might as well have thrown my money in a toilet, because that's the same amount of enjoyment I got out of his performance.


    What character would you cut from Revelation Space?

    I wouldn't cut any. I need 15 words. 15 words.


    Any additional comments?

    In addition to the horrifying accents, there was no pause or break between scenes. A scene on a spaceship blended seamlessly into a scene on a planet leaving the listener completely lost. Mr. Lee's uninflected deadpan narration moved so hurriedly from scene to scene that it was like trying to read a technical manual with pages removed and replaced with pages from The Joy Of Sex. Both instructional, both manuals, but you'll never get the whole picture from either. <br/>Tell Mr.Lee to go back to waiting tables.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dean 02-28-12
    Dean 02-28-12 Member Since 2009

    a Tech Exec who loves the stories about what could be and what should have been. Mixed with histories told from an outside perspective.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A lot of detail in a small space."
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    This book is a mixed bag for interest. It starts out like the Martian Chronicles, has a bit of Blade Runner in the middle, and ends with a storyline straight out of the Matrix.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Alastair Reynolds again?

    This is not my first Alastair Reynolds I am sure I will


    What about John Lee’s performance did you like?

    The Narrator does a pretty good job dealing with several accents to add depth to some of the characters, I am not sure if it has been remastered or if some listeners are simply not thrilled with a blend of accents. But, to me it added to the listening.


    Could you see Revelation Space being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    This book, and subsequent series could easily be a lost type series, as there is plenty of characters and setting to make for an interesting view. I am not sure a movie could contain enough detail to do the book justice.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Edmund
    Chirk, United Kingdom
    10/28/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Poor narration kills it stone dead"

    I tried to get past it. The poor monotone drone of the narrator. Even 8 hours in I was still pushing myself to go on when I realised that this was a pointless exercise.

    I'm a list cause. Save yourself.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • matt2001
    10/19/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Enjoyable and detailed"

    The story covers a large arc and getting used to the different time periods took a little while but worth the effort. This is a self contained story but I would like to think the characters will reappear in later books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • WytchMama
    Cornwall, U.K
    7/17/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "love it"

    Alistair Reynolds is a true master storyteller, never get tired of listening to his works and this is no exception.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Rory
    5/24/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Amazing"

    Its a bit all over the place for half the book, but just stick with it and it all come nicely together! Its my favourite series now.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • fewnotbusydays
    4/22/16
    Overall
    "awesome"

    Mr Reynolds and John Lee; just stick to the long listen and hardly ever will you be disappointed .

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Christie
    4/20/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Dreary"

    Characters all unlikeable, story meandering and tedious, narration monotonous. I listened to half of it and then gave up.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ch3nz
    Harlow, United Kingdom
    2/23/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "good listen"

    a good plot line, keeps u wrapped in the book right until the end. have listened twice now. excellent narration, I was able to identify individual characters from their accents.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • BrianP
    Stockport, UK
    1/19/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great writing, narrator is fine too"

    This is another great story by Alastair Reynolds, in fact I was surprised to learn it was his first published book. It has all the ingredients I like, a convoluted plot, interesting tech ideas and frequent good descriptive writing. However, I can't understand all the bitching about the narrator. Like any field, there are superstars, like Stephen Fry, Toby Longworth and Stephen Briggs and John Lee isn't quite in that league but this is a perfectly good narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Benjamin
    STOKE ON TRENT, United Kingdom
    10/25/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "ambitious and imaginative"

    a great story that was very engaging. seemed to loose its way towards the end. good concepts. stayed away from sex and gore to focus on the sci fi. almost 5 stars.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ian Jamison
    UK
    10/17/15
    Overall
    Performance
    "As others have said: Brilliant story ruined"

    By awful narration.
    Spend your credits on the Iain M Banks culture novels read by Peter Kenny.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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