Alastair Reynolds continues his Revelation Space series with this “first-rate work of science fiction, a thoroughly modern space opera full of dangers and marvels to match”(SF Site).
The Inhibitors were designed to eliminate any life form reaching a certain level of intelligence—and they’ve targeted Humanity. War veteran Clavain and a ragtag group of refugees have fled into hiding. Their leadership is faltering, and their situation is growing more desperate. But their little colony has just received an unexpected visitor: an avenging angel with the power to lead mankind to safety—or draw down its darkest enemy.
And as she leads them to an apparently insignificant moon light-years away, it begins to dawn on Clavain and his companions that to beat one enemy, it may be necessary to forge an alliance with something much worse...
The final volume in British author Reynolds's SF trilogy that began with Revelation Space (2001) fulfills all the staggering promise of the earlier books, and then some. The world Hela, an airless moon of the gas giant Haldora, is remarkable for two things: relics of the extinct alien race called the scuttlers, and the Quaicheist faith, whose observers (aided by infection with a virus that induces religious fervor) watch Haldora in the hope of viewing one of its mysterious, split-second disappearances. Church records show the disappearances are slowly increasing in frequency and duration. Rumors abound, and arriving pilgrims confirm that Haldora's changing behavior is a sign of the end times. When his indoctrinating virus weakens on occasion, however, Quaicheist founder Horris Quaiche has other ideas as does young iconoclast Rashmika Els, self-taught scuttler archeologist. Meanwhile, unhappy war veteran Nevil Clavain leaves self-imposed exile on the planet Ararat to help his friend, human-pig hybrid Scorpio, and rejoin the battle against the implacable Inhibitors, "wolf" machines that seek out and destroy star-faring civilizations. From a slow start, Reynolds's plot rapidly builds momentum, hurtling to a stunning conclusion. Cinematic imagery and strong characters ably carry this juggernaut of a story, with Big Ideas strewn about like pebbles on a beach. It's not the best book to introduce Reynolds to those who've never read him, but it's without a doubt a fitting finale to the series, a landmark in hard SF space opera. Roebert Kirby at Peters, Fraser and Dunlop.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Revelation Space/Redemption Ark/Absolution Gap Trilogy
This is a brilliant piece of "hard" science fiction writing. The author's universe has several human factions developing over the next 1500 years as humanity spreads through the near galaxy but is limited by relativistic speeds between the stars. These factions are described in considerable detail and realism. Not quite the genius of the "Dune" universe but heading in that direction. There is speculation about biology/technology interfaces influencing the future of human development- nothing new here but this is just a back story for the real focus of the plot. That focus is- why has this future humanity not run into many other intelligent species? This introduces the "inhibitors" an intelligent but not truly sentient machine species that has a single purpose: maintaining a ruthless inhibition of intelligent biological life. It's a great story, extremely well written, epic in scale and brilliant in execution. However the basic thesis (why we seem to be alone in the galaxy) is a little far fetched even for this type of fiction and I had trouble accepting it. Still that's my only quibble with a great piece of sci fi writing.
The storytelling in this trilogy is absolutely superb. Easily one of the best space operas I've read!
Too Long and Repetitive & Lots of Typos
Would have been much better if reduced and condensed by half. The dozens of typos and formatting errors are stupid and irritating.