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Absorption (Ragnarok #1)

3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  183 ratings  ·  15 reviews
'Absorption' is the first novel of the 'Ragnarok Trilogy', a space opera trilogy of high-tech space warfare, unitary intelligences made up of millions of minds, the bizarre physics of dark energy, quantum mechanics and a mindblowing rationale for Norse mythology.
Paperback, 407 pages
Published February 1st 2011 by Gollancz (first published 2010)
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A very ambitious series but quite mediocre execution so far; Absorption is not really a novel but more a collection of snippet threads that never coalesce and late in the book seem very rushed to boot; it is the first volume of a series true, but still I expected more coherence - maybe the number of pages allotted to the novel just does not support its presumed depth, problem encountered in another ambitious but even more flawed series (Cobley - Humanity's Fire); I did a quick pass through Resol ...more
Willy Eckerslike
I’m always cautious about anything labelled ‘epic’; it is often an excuse for an overly long, rambling shambles that should have been condensed and published as a single volume. In this instance, the first part of the Ragnarok trilogy, I’m happy to be wrong. Meaney is an accomplished wordsmith weaving a complex multi-threaded narrative through five time periods with hints of a single, all-encompassing primary plot. A few minor things let the story down very slightly; the hugely ambitious narrati ...more
Roddy Williams
Blurbs loaded with overhype are ultimately self-defeating since the reader, expecting something (as in this case where Stephen Baxter of all people, gushes on the front cover ‘Meaney has rewired SF! Everything is different now!’) quite extraordinary is instead provided with a novel which is an enjoyable enough read but breaks no barriers at all. There are some elements in fact which remind me a great deal of Hamilton’s ‘The Reality Dysfunction.’
The narrative is split between four timelines; 8th
Simon Mcleish
Originally published on my blog here in February 2011.

When does hype become unbelievable? John Meaney, according to Stephen Baxter (as quoted on the cover of Absorption), "has rewired SF. Everything is different now". Absorption also had nothing but five star reviews on Amazon at the time of writing. So this is a book which should be spectacularly good: this is the sort of praise associated with classics of the genre such as Neuromancer. In Absorption's case, the hype is somewhat at odds as the
Marcus Gipps
I enjoyed Meaney's other recent books with Gollancz: Bone Song ( and, to a slightly lesser extent, Dark Blood ( So when this arrived, even though it was the beginning of a new series and not a continuation of the previous one, it seemed worth a punt. So I took it on holiday with me over New Year, figuring that it would keep me going for a bit. I don't often read proper hard SF - don't know why, used to love it, bu ...more
In some ways I have no idea what to make of this book - the big ideas and connections all seem to make sense in a way I can't quite yet reach - but whatever the hell it's doing and wherever the hell it's going, I want to tag along. The characters are all engaging, the visualised world/s are emerging clearly and finely, and while I normally hate "to be continued" endings, this one managed to satisfy but tantalise equally. Bought it originally because the second book looked good; now kicking self ...more
many different times and characters and when switching between them you could get the feeling of reading a totally different novel but for the common bigger picture which is also ever looming at the horizon.

a slight downside in my opinion is the high-sci-fi parts are a bit hard to get into as it is so often because the author is torn between explaining everything to give a smooth transition and letting the reader discover for himself. but it gets better some way into the book and then you just c
John Meaney deftly handles a complex multi-threaded plot that takes place over multiple time periods from 777-2603AD.

The action moves along at quite a pace and he manages to drip feed the revelations of what is going on very skilfully; I never once had the feeling of an ungainly SF "info dump".

It is the first book in a series so not all plot threads reach closure and not everything that is going on is revealed...
Mar 14, 2012 Jay rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Sci-Fi fans, fantasy fans
A little difficult to get into, but once I got to grips with the different worlds it was fantastic. The author's imagination was brilliant, the plot exciting and the characters very likeable. Glad I stuck with it and will be reading the second book.
Selso Xisto
Interesting first installment. Fantastic writing, no fat at all, fast-paced. Reminiscent of Peter F Hamilton in tone. Very intrigued to see where this story is going to go!
Alexandra Taylor
Can't decide if I loved this book or hated it. One minute I loved it next I hated it etc.
Sye Robertson
Really enjoyed it. Looking forward to the rest of the series.
Igor Raffaele
Good fiction, good characters, a little inconclusive.
Very good book
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Other Books in the Series

Ragnarok (3 books)
  • Transmission (Ragnarok, #2)
  • Resonance (Ragnarok #3)
Bone Song (Tristopolis, #1) Paradox (The Nulapeiron Sequence, 1) Dark Blood (Tristopolis, #2) Context (The Nulapeiron Sequence, 2) Transmission (Ragnarok, #2)

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