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.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Good story, great narrator.
This is the second of Reynolds books that I’ve listened to and I’m liking him a lot. He has a PhD in astronomy and has actually worked in the space industry,, this has inspired his vision of a human future that builds a lot from todays existing technology. In his vision of the future, humans cannot travel faster than light - but they can alter themselves and use technology to cope with years-long space voyages. To put it another way, his humans evolve and adapt, but the laws of physics as we understand them today are the same. This isn’t to say that there isn’t a nice bit of good ol’ sci-fi fantasy in his work too, it takes the form of human inquiry and dabbling in the tiny bits of alien cultures they have found.
The story is complex and well crafted, due to the restrictions of sub light space travel, the story starts out in 3 different time periods that converge in the last part of the book. Reynolds ‘ characters, with their enhanced physiques and weird cultures, are intriguing - both exotic and familiar. I especially liked the thoroughly grotty spaceship “Nostalgia For Infinity”.
Unlike some other reviewers, I have no issue with the narrator, who is a British actor and has won many awards for his audiobook narrations. He’s a versatile speaker who does many very specific foreign and English accents really well. American listeners may notice that there aren’t any major North American voices in the whole story though.
The book isn’t perfect, but it’s close, really good. Its ending makes me think, (or wish) that this story of the “Nostalgia For Infinity” continues on in some other book.
Anyway, if you like solid sci-fi that’s not totally hard, but nice and crunchy as well as literate, you may like this one.
LOVE this book
And I love the reader as well. I agree with the other reviewers that it is occasionally difficult to tell who is speaking, but those moments are rare and usually not problematic. More importantly, John Lee is an extremely talented narrator and voice actor -- I could listen to his voice all day. The book itself is immediately gripping and endlessly fascinating. I couldn't recommend this audiobook more highly.
This book is touted by some as a great science fiction novel. I must disagree. Although the novel is full of richly imaginative concepts, the characters and their dialogues were frustratingly simple. At times, the dialogues sounded as though they were written by a 10-year old. Also, the story threads come together awkwardly-- often in implausible, but convenient ways. Suspense and curiosity builds, but are are deflated by a completely unispired outcome.