Coalescent (Destiny's Children #1)
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The construction of Coalescent is a sloppy mess. Essentially there are two narrative streams told in alternate chapters. One is set in the present day (c.2000) and one begins in fourth-century Britain soon after Constantine left it to go purple-hunting in Rome, taking most of the Roman garrison with him and leaving the island wide open to plunder by the Saxons.
This 'Roman' stream is told in the third person. Mos ...more
The story starts at the Fall of the Roman Empire, and follows a young British Roman woman named Regina as her world falls apart around her. The majority of the novel focuses o ...more
This is an engaging novel with interesting ideas, but they come across pretty heavy-handed in the last few chapters, where a long litany of reasons the Coalescents really, truly are a hive are presented as boring conversations between George and Peter.
One of the things I like best about Baxter's writing is when he takes some ...more
I also have to say that I loved the historical segment about the fall of Rome. It really seemed to me to get it right: how things slowly fell apart, and never got right again. As Eliot said, "not with a bang, but a whimper."
Really 3.5 stars. See also my review of Transcendent by the same author.
I actually had to go to my bookshelf and see how much of this I had to endure. Unfortunately, my wish wasn't clear enough. Baxter just does not ...more
this book consists of 3 parts (4, really, but the last is more of an afterward, consisting of only about 20 pages). the first two parts are back story and build up, telling how and why characters and the cult are how they are. every other chapter is dedicated to the present story, following the main character, george. the chapters in between go back in time to follow the emergence of the cult. when the two converge, is where ...more
Bon, en fait, c'est plus compliqué et parfois plus spectaculaire que ça. mais, surtout, cet élément, qui est le coeur de l'intrigue, m'est passé complètement à côté, focalisé que j'étais sur le décor. Pourquoi ? simple : Rome. Rome, la ville éternelle ! Je me suis plong ...more
Certain of the more SF aspects of the plot never really made sense; they felt very much tacked on, almost workshop-style ("I don't think this'll sell as scifi, Bob...why dontcha add some aliens or something?") The core story is quite a g ...more
Now, joined by his boyhood friend Peter McLachlan, who arrives in Rome with a dark secret of his own, George uncovers evidence suggesting that the women of the Order have embarked on a divergent evolutionary path. But they are not just a new kind of human. They are a better kind, genetically superior, equipped with all the tools necessary to render homo sapiens as extinct as the Neanderthals. And, chillingly, George and Peter soon have reason to fear that this colony is preparing to leave its ov...more
The main story focuses on Regina, a young girl living in Britain as the Roman Empire begins to crumble. We see the story of her whole life as her life of luxury soon turns ...more
As to the science content, it's rather far-fetched. I know o ...more
The historical novel is about a girl growing up in Britain in the 5th century A.D., while the Roman rule disintegrates. Now, I am not a fan of historical novels – when I’ve tried to read them a couple of times before, I’ve been disappointed by how modern the characters’ thinking was. And if I want to know about history, I’d rather read a ...more