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Absolution Gap (Revelation Space #3)

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating Details  ·  11,610 Ratings  ·  356 Reviews
With his "top-notch" (Maxim) debut, Revelation Space, Alastair Reynolds was widely hailed as the new leader of cutting-edge hard-science fiction; a reputation he confirmed with the "awe inspiring"* sequel, Redemption Ark. Now, with Absolution Gap, he concludes the saga that made him "the most exciting space opera writer working today" (*Locus).

Ancient killing machines, d
Hardcover, 576 pages
Published June 1st 2004 by Ace Hardcover (first published November 27th 2003)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Tim Hicks
What a disappointment! This last book alone adds 662 pages to the series. It continues the brilliant weaving of complex and advanced ideas, but even early in the book I started thinking, "This is getting a little silly now". It built to what promised to be a stunning conclusion, then ends with a great big "PFFFFBBBLLLLLT". What a load of bollocks!

The ending is so bad that it bursts the suspension of disbelief that carried us so far. It makes us look back and see how flimsy some of the plotlines
David Sven
Aug 03, 2013 David Sven rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Have you ever wondered what it would be like for a mostly unaugmented human to make love to a cyborg who was more machinery than biology? Of course you have! Who hasn't right? For GRRM fans it's easy. Just think Joffrey plus Iron Throne.

Or perhaps you've wondered what it would be like to never blink or even close your eyes in sleep so you could watch reruns of your favourite cable shows non stop. How would you achieve such a state? Well one of the Ultras in this book goes there. Lets just say i
Jan 14, 2016 Apatt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Recalled to life! That is a slogan from Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities which applies here. I accidentally—or it could be gremlins—deleted my original review of Absolution Gap (or AbGap as I call it) and normally I can retrieve it from pasting the URL of the lost review at but this time it did not work, perhaps it has been lost too long. However, Google is still my friend and if you are at all interested just click here too see a screencap of the process. OK, the review—which you ...more
With his Revelation Space trilogy and the spinoff books Chasm City and The Prefect , Alastair Reynolds has accomplished the best world-building outside of Iain M. Banks' Culture novels. Truly, I can't understate how impressed I am with what Reynolds has put together.

Over the last ten weeks or so I have fallen in love with the Revelation Space universe and I simply can't get enough of the stories or characters that occupy it. I started with The Prefect, not realizing it was part of a bigger
Jul 20, 2013 Lee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hard-scifi
Story: 4/5
1: Being Vague, rambling plot with no little believable storyline
5: Ripping yarn, clever, thought provoking

Book three of the Revelation Space story puts in a familiar place with our standard cast of characters fleeing the inhibitors and trying to find a solution to the impending annihilation of humankind. There are three main branches to this story in two different time zones and of all the three books this one was the lightest in hard SciFi as it focuses more on the ending of the st
Mar 09, 2012 Forrest rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The final novel in the Revelation Space Trilogy concludes one of the great space operas of the modern era. Though not the best book of the trilogy (I reserve that spot for Revelation Space itself), Absolution Gap brings the vast, centuries-spanning epic to a satisfactory conclusion. (view spoiler) ...more
Aug 08, 2007 Swaps55 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Sci Fi fans
This is the conclusion of the three part series, and while I thought it was the weakest of the series, I still get insane pleasure out of this man's writing. I think the main problem this book has is that it is missing what would seem to be a very vital sense of urgency concerning the Inhibitors. Now, the nature of this galaxy he has created reminds us that our perception of the passage of time is quite different from the galaxy's perception, but even so, there is a race of machines out there de ...more
This is the fourth novel I've ready by Alastair Reynolds, and I have to admit that while it took me a bit of time to get into the writing, the effort is never wasted. The build-up is slow but very steady, and I can honestly say that the final explosions are quite good. There's always something else to look forward to, on the other hand, and I suppose my only wish would be to have a prolific amount of works to support each one. A universe this detailed ought to at least be a lot more full than a ...more
Apr 09, 2015 Lorelei rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
What the?!

The final in a rather involved trilogy that is neither the same story as the previous two/nor the characters and in no way final. So many tantalising threads from the the previous two books are left to hang. The first two in this series showed great promise and I was very much looking forward to this one - I can't think of the last time I was so disappointed in an author.

The thing that became most apparent to me after finishing this one is that the author was using his characters as to
Feb 24, 2016 Claudia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a journey this trilogy was!

Although unexpected, the events in this last part have a deeper meaning when ruminate upon, one which cannot be glimpsed by reading the first two.
Even the ending was kinda unexpected (I guessed half of it, but the other not a bit).

As I said in my point of view for the first part, this story's key points are unpredictable, which makes it even more interesting - if that can be - taking into consideration the amount of mind blowing concepts and immensity.
And even as
Grant Kisling
Nov 02, 2011 Grant Kisling rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, kindle
This is the final book in the Revelation Space Trilogy. In my opinion, it is disappointing because it the book itself feels unfinished which leaves a bad taste in your mouth for the series as a whole.

The Revelation Space Trilogy is a trilogy of diminishing returns.

Book 1 (Revelation Space): 4.5 rating, exciting and a lot of interesting ideas introduced

Book 2 (Redemption Ark): 3.75 rating, a continuation but really no new ideas and not many topics from the first book revisted

Book 3 (absolution Ga
Jeff post
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Absolutely stunning. Full of so many amazing set pieces and characters. I particularly loved how Scorpio and Captain Brannigan basically were the main characters of this book. They're both such fascinating characters.

I need to go read the short story Galactic North again for more illumination about the ending.

The Revelation Space universe is probably my favorite scifi setting, and my second favorite fictional world after Bas-Lag. Pity the only thing I have left to read in this setting is The Pre
Tudor Ciocarlie
Impressive and interesting conclusion to the Revelation Space trilogy. At first I was a little disappointed by the low key ending, but after a couple of days I find this perfectly human ending, very appropriate and satisfying.
May 31, 2013 Kerry rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
 Absolution: A freeing from blame or guilt.

Clavain is staring across an ocean on planet Ararat. He is sitting alone in meditation, struggling with feelings of remorse and guilt. Does he take the swim that would allow the Juggler marine mass to absorb his mind/soul with their own?

Scorpio arrives. He finds Clavain in his place of solitude and self imposed exile. A small craft has landed and Scorpio feels this may mark the local resumption of humanities war against the Inhibitors. Or maybe this
Apr 10, 2010 Jason rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books, read-2010
I was extremely disappointed with this 3rd concluding book of the series. Where the first 2 excelled, character development, this book was really missing. The main characters of the first 2 books were pretty much finished with their stories after 2 books. Some were even ruined in this book and they acted quite out of character. The overall theme of man versus machine was not really brought to conclusion, it contained nothing new. I would have stopped reading this book 100 pages in, but I pushed ...more
Dec 01, 2010 Robert rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
This is the weakest of the Revelation Space novels, which is a shame, because it is the last and it ends more with a whimper than a bang. There are two main flaws; one is that it doesn't really end the story of humanity's encounter with the Inhibitors at all and that feels unsatisfactory. There is a clear need for a fourth book to wrap things up properly, but we aren't going to get it.

The other, possibly greater, flaw is hardly unique to this book, or this writer, and has to do with a common na
Simon Mcleish
Feb 18, 2013 Simon Mcleish rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Originally published on my blog here in August 2004.

This novel completes the story of Revelation Space and Redemption Ark, about how the human race falls foul of machines named Inhibitors or wolves, which destroy interstellar civilizations when alerted by the use of particular kinds of advanced technology. (Chasm City and the pair of novellas Diamond Dogs, Turquoise Days share the same background, but are not part of the same story.) At the end of Redemption Ark, one group of humans had taken re
The third in the Revelation Space series, picking up where Redemption Ark ( left off. I have been impressed by all the Reynolds I have read, but around the half-way mark, this one was struggling to be worth 3*. However, it redeemed itself in the last quarter, to deserve 4*.

Like many of Reynolds' books, this is a story with three main, interrelated, strands, though it is simpler than the previous two Revelation Space volumes - or perhaps that is just becau
Oct 08, 2013 Xavi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Soy de sagas, lo admito. Cuando un universo creado por un autor me atrapa me cuesta mucho desengancharme y me gusta leer las trilogías, cuadrilogías, decalogías (Erikson machote) de un tirón. Es por eso que ya no empiezo muchas de las sagas que me apetecen, para no tener que parar si la trama me engancha. ( y evitar relecturas…me hago viejo y pierdo memoria).
Algunas sagas parecen planeadas desde el inicio, y otras se nota que aprovechan el tirón de una primera novela potente. En ambos casos a me
Mar 16, 2016 Jules rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: new_own, reynolds
It is not that often for a book to suck me into it so much, driving my whole conscience to the point of developing dominant ideas about it.
Being the last of the Inhibitor trilogy it benefits from the previous ones build-up and resources but at the same time it sets itself apart from them by focusing more on interpersonal relations, humanity and religion. The ones who had the patience to read the first 2 books are rewarded with the characters they wanted to have, the emotional implication they c
Naves espaciales, arqueología estelar, antiguas civilizaciones, virus adoctrinadores, heroismo, sacrificio, religión, batallas, traición, armas inverosímiles... ¡Impresionante! Que una novela de más de 600 páginas te mantenga en vilo hasta el final debe significar algo, y ese algo es calidad e ideas a raudales. Si 'El arca de la redención' fue buena, su continuación, 'El desfiladero de la absolución', es mucho mejor, extraordinaria diría yo. El pulso narrativo de Alastair Reynolds no desfallece ...more
Scott Rhee
Jul 23, 2012 Scott Rhee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
"Absolution Gap" is Alastair Reynold's final (maybe) chapter in his absolutely fantastic 4-book sci-fi series that started with "Revelation Space". Starting where he left off in "Redemption Ark", Reynolds continues the story of his ragtag crew of the light-hugger Nostalgia for Infinity and the thousands of survivors of planet Resurgam, which was destroyed by an ancient race of machines called the Inhibitors. The survivors have settled on a planet they have named Ararat. The inhibitors continue t ...more
Ben Babcock
I actually read this soon enough after Redemption Ark that I can still remember some of the details of that book! Absolution Gap picks up two generations later. The Nostalgia for Infinity is parked on Ararat, and its occupants have set up a “temporary” settlement. Little do they know that, in the space around them, Conjoiners and Inhibitors battle to a standstill, until a lone craft breaks the silence and crashes into Ararat’s ocean. Clavain, Scorpio, Skade, Khouri, and Remontoire all make an ap ...more
Nov 24, 2012 Shari rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Absolution Gap is definitely my favorite in the Revelation series. The moment I started reading this third book in the trilogy, I immediately saw it wasn’t quite the same as the first two. Three things stood out. First was the prologue. It didn’t read like the main story that it made me wonder where in the whole story it would fit. Next was the setting. Absolution Gap continues the journey of those who flee the Inhibitors, but decades later. There are actually three settings from three different ...more
De los 5 libros que forman Espacio Revelación, a falta del último para mi este es el más flojete. Por un lado tiene cosas que lo hacen muy grande:

La ambientación de Hela (Recuerda por momento a "Los tejedores de cabellos"), las historias centradas en el comercio con los Ultras y el inicio de la nave con la Reina Jasmine me parecen momentos de los que se te quedan en la memoria.

La nave ya es un personaje más, quizá el mejor, y las escenas en Ararat antes de la evacuación para mi son lo mejor del
Michael Battaglia
May 01, 2016 Michael Battaglia rated it it was amazing
Now that I've finished all three books in this series I feel I can finally ask this question: what the heck was this series even about?

Maybe I'm simpleminded or used to something more cookie cutter but it seems to me that if you're going to write a trilogy then you need to have some sort of plot that carries through all three books and connects with all the smaller plots that might be happening at the same time. Even if you're switching up characters or locations or even timeframes, it should be
Apr 05, 2015 Svetlana rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Revelation Space series started great and I absolutely loved the first novel. The second one (Redemption Ark) was still good, although less than the first one. I was warned the closing novel of the trilogy does not live up to the expectations that the start of the series brought and that's, if anything, is a serious understatement. The book is the largest in the series and yet manages to say the least of them all. The book is very terrestrial - half of the book plays out on Ararat - a Juggler pl ...more
Roddy Williams
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 16, 2012 George rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those who have read the first two in the trilogy
Shelves: science-fiction
One thousand nine hundred and seventy four pages of plot development and world building. All the plot devices, all the ideas, and all the characters you introduced and developed, and you give me that for an ending. How could you.

I've had books conclude unsatisfactorily before, at least to me, I've been disappointed at endings before, but never have I felt so empty after concluding a series that I have put so much time and energy into reading as I did at the end of this book.

An antagonist, a myst
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Ridiculous ending? Spoilers 28 115 May 03, 2015 10:38PM  
Goodreads Librari...: ISBN 0575083166 2 24 Feb 07, 2012 05:11AM  
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Alastair Reynolds, former scientist and now full-time writer. Most of what he writes is science fiction, with a strong concern for scientific verisimilitude (although he is prepared to break the rules for the sake of a good story). He has lived in England, Scotland and the Netherlands where he worked as an astrophysicist for the European Space Agency until 2004, but now makes his home back in his ...more
More about Alastair Reynolds...

Other Books in the Series

Revelation Space (5 books)
  • The Prefect
  • Chasm City
  • Revelation Space
  • Redemption Ark

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“if human beings really grasped how synthetic their world was - how much of it was stitched together not from direct perception, but from interpolation, memory, educated guesswork - they would go quietly mad.” 6 likes
“She wanted to climb on to the rack herself to wrench one of the pilgrims away from the sight that transfixed them, to rip back the cowl from their helmet, to press her own face against that blank mirror and try to make contact--before it was too late--with whatever fading glimmer of human individuality remained. She wanted to drive a rock into the faceplate, shattering faith in an instant of annihilating decompression.
And yet she knew that her anger was horribly misdirected. She knew that she only loathed and despised these pilgrims because of what what she feared had happened to Harbin. She could not smash the churches, so she desired instead to smash the gentle innocents who were drawn toward them”
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