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Axis (Spin Saga #2)

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3.45 of 5 stars 3.45  ·  rating details  ·  4,356 ratings  ·  316 reviews
Wildly praised by readers and critics alike, Robert Charles Wilson's Spin won science fiction's highest honor, the Hugo Award for Best Novel.

Now, in Axis, Spin's direct sequel, Wilson takes us to the "world next door"-the planet engineered by the mysterious Hypotheticals to support human life, and connected to Earth by way of the Arch that towers hundreds of miles over the
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Paperback, 355 pages
Published June 3rd 2008 by Tor Science Fiction (first published September 18th 2007)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Josh
Axis is entertaining and expands on Spin's novel idea, but seems incomplete. By the time it really starts to pickup and get interesting, it ends rather abrubtly. It doesn't exactly leave at a cliffhanger but it doesn't exactly answer all of my questions either. Good thing wikipedia shows a sequel in the works, Vortex, so I know we'll still have more to look forward to.

As always, Wilson writes good characters. The main character, Lise, actually seemed a tad underdeveloped, but her companion Turk
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rivka
Jul 11, 2010 rivka rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone who enjoyed Spin
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Traci
I loved Spin. In that giddy new love have to rush out and buy every book by the author way. I was nervous that my second opinion wouldn't hold up to my first. Well, it did and didn't.

New characters. New planet. New mysteries. And for the most part it is interesting. Just not on the same scale of the first. This one seems smaller. In scope. And in content. It just doesn't seem like a lot happens until the end. And then things happen a little too fast.

So, I liked it. I highly recommend the first b
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Kristin
I noticed this book received very mixed reviews, most of them not very complimentary. I’ve read most of Robert Charles Wilson’s books, and enjoyed them to one degree or another, so it was with a bit of trepidation that I started this one.
I found I enjoyed this one as much as I liked the others. To quote the blurb at the back of the book, the premise of the story is in the post-Spin world, the planet “next door” was engineered by the mysterious Hypotheticals to support human life, and connected
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 Jessica
I don't not like this book, but it's no Spin.

I agree with the other reviewers about this book: it's really less sci-fi and more about a spiritual journey; it hangs out in the realm of vague, even mystical speculation; it's a bridge between Spin and Vortex and reads like it.

The last item - about the book being a bridge - may be its most redeeming assessment. The book has a very transitional feel. The plot involves constant motion/travel almost exclusively in one dedicated direction (east to wes
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Cindy
***STOP***
Axis is the sequel to Spin, the second book in a trilogy. If you haven't read Spin, and want to read it unspoiled in the future, don't even think about reading my review or any reviews about Axis. Don't ruin your experience of Spin -- it's so, so good on its own.

Otherwise, if you've already read Spin or Axis, or have no intention of reading them, feel free to continue...

The vast differences between Spin and Axis make the sequel hard to digest and hard to rate. It has a different struc
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M.D.
A very disappointing sequel to Spin, Axis is mostly an explanation of who the Hypotheticals are. The characters are uninteresting and flat, as is the ending. The only redeeming quality is Wilson's writing itself. As usual, it's of a very high caliber.
Darin Ramsey
This book reminds me, in unfortunate ways, of Greg Bear's Eternity. I really enjoyed Eon, and was happy about there being a sequel... which then had almost nothing connected to the first book. Axis eventually drops in a couple of lines to let you know what happened to Tyler and Diane after Spin, but we're pretty much meeting people utterly unconnected to that first book.
This is a problem for me because it's very difficult to do well. The Foundation Trilogy manages to skip like a stone across the
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Elze
Jul 14, 2013 Elze rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who like character-driven soft SF
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Andres
I picked up Axis right after it was published because I remembered being frustrated with the somewhat open ending of Spin. The fact that it didn't draw me in like Spin did should have clued me in that this is a very different book.

I didn't finish it that first time, and I only picked it up again now that the third book in the trilogy is coming out (and after reading Spin again to refresh all the forgotten details.) All I can say is I was exhilarated reading Spin again, and terribly deflated read
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Dave
While technically a sequel to Spin, it's only a sequel in the sense that is takes place after Spin in the same universe. It doesn't follow the characters of Spin, except one who was fairly minor and then only peripherally.

The story lacks the cool ideas of Spin, and it seems like this book was written purely to set up the next in the series. Very little is resolved. The storytelling suffers from the switch to third person POV. And Wilson still over-utilizes time-jumping and flashbacks, except now
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Laurie
This is the third book I've read by Robert Charles Wilson, and I think it might be my favorite. I've always thought of Wilson as a very original and intelligent storyteller. If he had any weaknesses typically they were in character development and the overuse of certain tropes. Neither of those were true of this book. Characters were unique and well-developed. No character was good and none evil. (Well, the Genomic Society goons probably fit the profile of villain, but they were relatively minor ...more
Angela
Oh boy was this book a nice surprise, especially after so many lukewarm reviews! I really put off reading it for a long time, because I was afraid I'd be disappointed. Spin definitely earned its Hugo because Robert Charles Wilson pulled off the near impossible with his great ending. Stephen King has said something to the effect that once you show the monster in the closet, it's all over; your readers aren't going to be scared any more. This is so true - so many endings just don't live up to the ...more
Alex Telander
Robert Charles Wilson’s sequel to the Hugo Award winning Spin, Axis, does what not a lot of sequels do: it continues readers on this most unique story, but with a whole new world and cast of characters that helps to give everything a new pristine look, as if one were reading a individual, stand-alone novel, and not a sequel.

The god-like beings known as the Hypotheticals are doing what they do best: messing with the ways of the cosmos. In Axis, the reader travels through the giant arch gate locat
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Mike
It was a decent middle book of a trilogy that added depth to the events in the new world after Spin had completed. It did seem to drag and devotes significant time to subplots that have impact on the characters that adds dimension, but didn't have much impact on the story arc.

It delves into the characterization very well like Spin did, but it seems to do so at the detriment of the greater story. Lise's story seems like this complex mystery that should be a central thread to the story, but drops
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Mark
Putting down Spin I swore I wouldn't read this one. Spin was compelling up until the end, when it got weird. Still, I really have liked Robert Charles Wilson's other books, so, I picked this one up.

And you know what? It was pretty good.

The entire book takes place on the planet that's "connected" to Earth by the strange Arch in the Indian Ocean that appears at the end of Spin. For the most part, a new set of characters -- lost, a little bit broken, and looking for some kind of personal redemptio
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Christy
Robert Charles Wilson's Spin (which I wrote about a while ago) is a wonderful book, one I recommend regularly; Axis, the follow-up to Spin, is not so wonderful.

Axis is far from a bad book. It is entertaining and includes some well-crafted scenes, some focusing on the characters and some on the scenery of a new world or on the results of the general weirdness that goes on (to say more would be to give away too much, I think). But the philosophical weight and character-driven focus of Spin is mis
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Fantasy Literature
Earth has now been surrounded by the mysterious spin barrier that slows time relative to the rest of the universe for decades. Extra-terrestrial forces have also built the Arch that connects Earth to a series of unknown and increasingly environmentally hostile worlds. Humanity is now colonizing the first new world, but they still wonder about what beings — the Hypotheticals — could have created the spin barriers around these planets, not to mention the arches that connect them.

There are intergal
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Gyula
I enjoyed Spin, the prequel of this book, and I was looking forward to read Axis. The story is interesting. It picks up the storyline 30 years after Spin ends, and it is about the alien race who caused Earth's spinning. Scientists try to establish a connection by altering the DNA of a child, who - according to the hopes of the scientists - would be able to "speek" with them.

While the idea is compelling, I was disappointed at the end. I felt the book unfinished. The whole purpose of the story was
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This Is Not The Michael You're Looking For
Spin took an epic hard science fiction concept then focused on the human reaction, leading to a very approachable and enjoyable book. Axis, the sequel, fails in every way that Spin succeeded. The story is small, the characters are flat and uninteresting, the setting was remarkably stale. The timeline also seemed questionable in relation to the previous book, although I may have simply misread or misunderstood when this story is supposed to take place. Overall, one of the more disappointing seque ...more
Lucie P
People say that Axis is a bridge book and I agree - it fills the gap between the first and the third books in the trilogy and it reads like filler.

I had a hard time getting into it, also because there seemed to be little to connect it to Spin other than the general setting. The connection only became aparent later in the books. This wouldn't be a problem if the characters managed to catch my attention... but they didn't.

Axis takes place decades after Spin, not on Earth but on the new world, Equ
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Velizar Mihaylov
It's the second part of one of my all time favourites "Spin". This part comes with new characters, new story lines and some new light on the mysterious Hypotheticals.

Unfortunately this is the "middle" part in a three stage act story and as such it suffers from most of the usual flaws: too much questions, which answers we hopefully will get with the third part; not much is going on in the book (but still action was never what this series is all about); some of the characters are not so well deve
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Ármin Scipiades
As others have pointed out, this is no Spin. I'm actually happy it isn't a copy of Spin, that's really commendable, using such different narrative techniques for a sequel. Unfortunately, that's about all I can say about the positives. Axis is a disappointing sequel, really kind of mediocre, with tons of problems:

- it read more like an overlong short story.
- Equatoria, that world with a terrific premise, isn't really fleshed out, if at all. The small scraps of information we do get are fun, but t
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Josh
One of my favourite video games of all time is an RPG for the Game Boy Advance called Golden Sun. At the risk of spoiling the plot of a video game series nearly a decade and a half old, it tells the story of a band of young warriors gifted with the ability to control the elements and a quest they set out on initially to prevent the return of alchemy to the world, believing this to be a power too great to risk falling into the wrong hands. When they catch up with their quarry, another group of tr ...more
Kali
i really loved this book, loved the way it was written, and i loved that the audio version of the trilogy is narrated by the always incredible scott brick. a lot of reviews said that this book left a lot of questions unanswered, but i think these books are all about people searching for answers that don't exist, trying to force their own views of reality and the hypotheticals on the world around them. beautiful and sad.
Tom
More of a 3.5 stars, I enjoyed it but not quite as much as the first.

He goes farther into crazy, and that makes sense given the end of the last book, but sometimes it was hard for me to agree with his outcomes. It certainly was imaginative.

The characters were decent, and over all it was an enjoyable read. I also was looking forward to an extension of the last characters but this book starts new.
David
Another interesting book by R.C. Wilson ; however the story is less thrilling that the previous one (Spin) and the end is (imho) not really an end (I think that there will be a third episod in the Hypotheticals series).

I must say that I like Wilson's style very much, and that when he tells a story, it's very difficult to put the book down, even for a few minutes...
Heidi Draffin
This middle piece of an interesting and really well written trilogy is its weakest link, perhaps because the story is heading toward the final book and really didn't need to be separated from it. I've seen some really brutal reviews that seriously exaggerate the books flaws. There could have been more character development but the story is still interesting and compelling.
Allie
I thought that Axis was an excellent sequel to Spin, though it is a very different sort of book. Axis is the story of many characters over a short time span, most of which characters are newly introduced in this novel. The characters may not be as deeply explored as in Spin, but I appreciated having many different perspectives on the events of the story. I enjoyed seeing what happened with the world through the Arch, and how humanity managed to make this new marvel feel commonplace. The ashfall ...more
Daniel Roy
Nowhere near as profound or mind-boggling as "Spin", this sequel is more of a quick adventure romp in the universe of its predecessor. Ultimately little is learned about the Hypotheticals, and although Wilson's prose is as good as ever, the story is quickly forgettable.
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I've been writing science fiction professionally since my first novel A Hidden Place was published in 1986. My books include Darwinia, Blind Lake, and the Hugo Award-winning Spin. My newest novel is The Affinities (April 2015).
More about Robert Charles Wilson...

Other Books in the Series

Spin Saga (4 books)
  • Spin (Spin, #1)
  • Vortex
  • Spin - Die Trilogie
Spin (Spin, #1) The Chronoliths Vortex Julian Comstock: A Story of 22nd-Century America Darwinia

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