I didn't like space opera until I read this. Brilliant hard sci-fi! I will admit that I had to pull out my dictionary of physics a few times while reading this series. It is complex and smart and just awesome.
It has interesting alien life, mysterious extinct alien civilizations, a plague that effects technology, cool cyborg-y adapted humans, and it's all done very well; in a way that is smart and realistic.
It is first in a trilogy -Redemtion Ark and Absolution Gap are the other books in the series- and there is another book, Chasm City, that is the same world, but not part of this story line.
If you like sci-fi, it is a must read.
Excellent hard sci-fi/space opera. Fascinating depiction of human culture 300-500 years in the future. The author is a physicist, and his writing is full of solid scientific backing for many of its concepts. Recommended.
This is a brilliant "space opera" that is particularly interesting as it is written by a physicist that can explain phenomenon in a manner that is awe inspiring and completely believable.
It turns one's view of reality in space inside out, for starters. It's an epic--either on its own, or including the other three in the series. There are about three different 'back-stories' going on at once, and they are all equally and deeply filled in (ah, would that be like back hoeing? sorry, bad joke)with great detail. Just as you think you've got one character or situation or scene figured out, you are brought to a screeching negatory halt on that perception. The story(ies) reallllly stretches one's mind and could have been the poster dictionary definition for the expressions "All is not as it seems" and "Don't judge a book by its cover". There are times of deep sadness and joy, surprisingly, in Revelation Space--as well as the more common suspense you would expect to find in science fiction. I'm not normally a SF fan; these were some books my husband had and I had nothing left to read at the time. So, reluctantly, I began--and very soon into the story I became interested, which progressed to being intrigued, which quickly gave way to avidity. And then I couldn't wait to read the rest of the series! None of them disappointed, either. Alastair Reynolds has got SOME imagination, and I am glad he let it come out to play on paper.
The first book in the trilogy of Revelation Space, Redemption Ark and Absolution Gap.
This is a hard science fiction story involving quite a few subplots, each of which would make a fine science fiction story all by itself. Unfortunately, each of those subplots simply fades away, eventually contributing nothing at all to the story. Midway through the first book, the pattern is already disappointly obvious, as the excellent subplots each dry up and are replaced with endlessly repetitive, soap opera-like personal dramas. Eventually, if you flounder through all the unnecessary drama of all three books, the ending is equally disappointing, as the main plot fades away to nothing, just like all the subplots did.
As hard science fiction, it could have been an excellent story, if simply told in a single novel and given a decent ending.
Very complex vision of the future of mankind.
1 - If you havent read Galactic North, it would help if you read that first, giving some background that is helpful. I started reading Revelation Space, asked questions on the internet and found I should read GN first. Surprisingly, the local library had a copy.
2 - The first Alastair Reynolds book I read was Pushing Ice, which I rate 5 stars, 6 if I could. As far as I know, it is not related to other of his books and can be enjoyed on its own. I enjoyed reading it twice!
Revelation Space is the first book of the series (not counting certain chapters of Galactic North). Ive begun reading the next book, Redemption Ark.
Personally, I enjoyed the many facets and details of the story, finding them intriguing and interesting, making me wonder what would happen next and hoping for certain characters to succeed. The ending was a happy surprise.
As a mechanical engineer (now retired) the book reminded me that you might solve one problem but there are many more problems remaining and you rarely get much satisfaction, let alone happiness, before the next problem requires your attention. Rather black and white. The next book builds on the first (and "Great Wall of Mars" in Galactic North) and seems less black and white; more colorful. But you have to read the books in their order.
Great Wall of Mars" in the book Galactic North
Interesting, but it just didn't grab me. A "mystery" of sorts, but the ending just seemed to fall flat.
I could not even make myself finish this book. That is so rare that it has only happened once prior to this book.
There was not a single character in the book that I could like enough to want to find out what would happen to them.
It practically stymied my reading for an entire month. I didn't want to go to another book - that would be giving up, but I could not stand to read it either.
I know that lots of others rave about this author. Well, whatever they see I must be missing.
fantastic start to a great space opera in the vein of Peter Hamilton and others... This series continues in Redemption Ark and concludes in Absolution Gap.
really enjoyed it. sort of a steep learning curve, at first i was overwhelmed but after about 50 pages i was totally absorbed