what??? I thought this was book 1 of a series! now i wonder if I should stop and find the real book one?
came here less than halfway through to say th...morewhat??? I thought this was book 1 of a series! now i wonder if I should stop and find the real book one?
came here less than halfway through to say that this book and the Audible adaptation are making up for the pulsating shitfulness of the recent constellation of one-star Badreads on my Read shelf. Utterly fantastic- gripping story, amazing world building, and a great reading. I never want it to end.(less)
Started off loving this- gradually have liked it less and less. Halfway through sequel "Claw of the Conciliator" and have more or less lost interest....moreStarted off loving this- gradually have liked it less and less. Halfway through sequel "Claw of the Conciliator" and have more or less lost interest. World building is interesting and imaginative, story meanders pointlessly for hours and hours. Protagonist is affectless, unendearing. Not sure whether I should demote it to 2 stars- dramatic fall from 5 to loss of interest probably leaves it with 3?(less)
So happy to have found another hard sci-fi author I can enjoy! Not only an author who can write (nothing flashy- the kind of writing that doesn't dist...moreSo happy to have found another hard sci-fi author I can enjoy! Not only an author who can write (nothing flashy- the kind of writing that doesn't distract you from the characters and story with its self-conscious flowery wonderfulness- or its semi literate crapness like a few too many things I have read of late.), but an audiobook narrator who doesn't make an embarrassing abortion of voicing female characters by affecting a creepy breathy falsetto. thanks mr narrator. I love that he trusts the listener to be able to keep dialog sorted without the punch and judy voices! It's been a while since I've been excited to discover a new-to-me author, so I am plenty happy, thanks very much. Went straight into the 'revelation space' series after checking that the same narrator was reading it.(less)
Again, enough imagination for 100 books, packed into one. The crazy world of Bas-Lag is worth the price of admission alone. Story full of intrigue and...moreAgain, enough imagination for 100 books, packed into one. The crazy world of Bas-Lag is worth the price of admission alone. Story full of intrigue and adventure, and a lot of interesting, more or less likeable characters. Bellis though, who provides the main point of view? Geez louise, what a narcissistic, stick-up-her-butt bitch! I'm actually really glad the book is almost over- I am enjoying the story but can't wait to part company with the whiny cow! It's like visiting that kid in the "hunger Games" as an adult. Whine whine whine, me me me.... UGH. Enough out of you already, lady.(less)
Not really sci fi (well it *is*, but...) more a romantic comedy. Alternates between wacky comedy and serious discussion of super serious things like...more Not really sci fi (well it *is*, but...) more a romantic comedy. Alternates between wacky comedy and serious discussion of super serious things like suicide and the Holocaust. Seriously. Great reading (Wil Wheaton) of a mediocre book. Wouldn't bother in print but the audible edition is entertaining enough- the reading makes it. I don't regret spending one credit on it.(less)
Please be clear on one thing. Neal Stephenson's ONE star is most authors' three. His four... well it's off the scale for the normal, non NS author. I'...morePlease be clear on one thing. Neal Stephenson's ONE star is most authors' three. His four... well it's off the scale for the normal, non NS author. I'm sorry. Since I'm marking on a curve, and the Baroque Cycle was a solid 5 ( that's 555 in the Normal Non-NS author scale), I can only give this three- and add another star because I liked the unabridged audio adaptation I listened to quite a lot. No, I'm taking it away again. Maybe I'll give it back later.
'Reamde' has many of the usual NS themes- beefy, nerdy techy hero (two of them actually); super intelligent, dashing female leads- carefully researched swashbuckling; an exploration of currency and value and the ebb and flow of credit and money in worlds real and virtual. The villain is a cardboard-cutout stereotypical scary terrorist dude, which is kind of disappointing, but there is no stereotyping based on culture or religion- only on the type of person who would be drawn to mayhem, to destruction of worlds, rather than building worlds.
The writing is as beautiful and exuberantly erudite as always. There was not a sentence in Reamde that made me flinch. Action boils over from the first page, and ends kind of abruptly after 8oo pages or so, but at least with neatly tied up loose ends. I like that, it makes me happy.
I'd put this on the same star rating as Anathem- if you enjoyed that, this is just as good.(less)
Finished this today- having listened to the unabridged audio of the 4 Hyperion books one after the other for the last few weeks. I think my 4 star rat...moreFinished this today- having listened to the unabridged audio of the 4 Hyperion books one after the other for the last few weeks. I think my 4 star rating is rally for the series, not to much for any one book in the series. I experienced them as one long story; and really none of the 4 books stand alone, in my opinion.
Out of the 4, 'Rise of Endymion' seems like the one most in need of a good edit- loads of descriptive passages that go nowhere, and lists of names that would have sent me to sleep if I was reading. I'm giving Simmons a pass on the names, because it occurred to me that lists of names are a "thing" in epic poetry- maybe it was a nod to the tradition? I dunno. Anyway the whole Tibetan interlude could have gone into the chopper, as could the kidney stone chronicles...but whatever. Continuity errors, such as describing in detail how a character would have no hair for 2 or 3 weeks, followed closely by a kind of embarrassing sex-scene in which "she ran her fingers through his hair" abound. But these are nitpicks.
I have to say that all clumsiness of expression aside, all blunders of (especially) dialog ignored- I have to give the Hyperion Cantos in its glorious, long, detailed entirety HUGE points just for audaciousness. For going hard after BIG ideas, for not shying away, or padding (book 4 aside) the MANY complex events and adventures in this saga- some of which could have been stretched out into a novel of their own. I love the many (to me) original things- the Cruciforms! The Shrike! Tesla trees! Farcasting! The river Tethys- what a cool idea! The idea of the Core and the resurrection parasites. I have no regret about the amount of time I've invested in this series- it was worth it for the many cool bits. I can forgive the clunky parts, gladly, as I think the ratio of awesome to silly was still very good.(less)
LOVED this. Not as in love with Simmon's writing as some other reviewers but its' ok because it's such an amazing story. Seriously, how can you not lo...moreLOVED this. Not as in love with Simmon's writing as some other reviewers but its' ok because it's such an amazing story. Seriously, how can you not love a long, juicy sci-fi saga starring the ghost (kind of) of John Keats, a scary monster, as well as a bunch of other well defined characters- in a future that is a bit like the evil twin of the future in Iain M Banks' Culture novels. or maybe like the love child of the Matrix and the Culture. Or something totally, to me, original. I just loved it. I really feel that Simmons has a more realistic perception of far future humans in space than any utopian vision could; we're talking ostentatious consumption, environmental vandalism, political scheming, xenophobia, and religious fanatacism all mixed together- with humans empowered by their AI servants/masters to spread their filth farther and wider than they ever could with more limited tech. Moved straight on from this into Endymion, which I am LOVING because, well, I wouldn't imagine the Catholic Church of the future being any less abusive and corrupt than the one of the last couple millenia. Also, no one does non-gratuitous toe-curling horror and disgustingness better than Simmons. (less)
(this is the review I posted at Audible.com) Like all of Iain M Banks' Culture novels that I have read, this one was vast, mind blowing and in parts h...more(this is the review I posted at Audible.com) Like all of Iain M Banks' Culture novels that I have read, this one was vast, mind blowing and in parts hilariously funny. The best part about Banks in audio is that my mind can wander during detailed descriptions of space (or other) battles, and not have lost the thread when the interesting (to me) stuff starts up again. The narrator gave a unique voice characterisation to every one of the many major and minor characters, making sections of the story that I think I may have skimmed in print utterly engaging in audio. I'm sure the book has its faults, I've seen other reviewers complain about Veppers being a cardboard cutout pantomime villain, and they're right. I just didn't mind though, so much did I enjoy the personalities of the rest of the characters, especially the ships' Minds. Loved it.
this is the version narrated by Peter Kenny available from audible.com.(less)
yuk, I'm not having much luck at the moment- I'm 3 for 4 of the last things I've tried to read/listen to being huge disappointments. This is the bigge...moreyuk, I'm not having much luck at the moment- I'm 3 for 4 of the last things I've tried to read/listen to being huge disappointments. This is the biggest disappointment, as I really liked Tregillis's first book. This reads like a hastily penned Harlequin Romance. I do partly blame the reader as his horrible war-comic-German accent is a big distraction. And Liv, the love interest sounds like Toad the Washerwoman.(less)