This is a well done sequel of the Revelation Space cycle. It stays almost on the same quality level with the first book Revelation Space, but complete...moreThis is a well done sequel of the Revelation Space cycle. It stays almost on the same quality level with the first book Revelation Space, but completely falls behind the second book Chasm City which is just great (see my rapturous review if you aren’t afraid to catch enthusiasm toward it).
You’ll still find: Interesting plot, vastness in space and time, well-created atmosphere of interstellar age, scientific realism in most cases. Conjoiner society where people are connected via a neural-augmented network like computers via ethernet or, better to say, wi-fi. New interesting characters: Felka, Skade, Antoinette… Reynolds manages to create bright original female characters comparing to which his male heroes aren’t so interesting, except for Sky, whom we meet again. Meeting characters from previous books brought me some very pleasant moments, especially episodes with this extremely charming lady Volyova. Some aspects of the Inhibitors are revealed and after the third book we have a consistent logical picture of what they are.
So, the first half is really very good. But after a certain point in the middle of the book i became aware of some symptoms of the cycle syndrome. I was glad that it didn’t turn to be the case; however, Redemption Ark is sick with another disease - so called middle volume syndrome - Reynolds has written about the last 40% of the text without having great interest in it, he wanted just to finish this volume and, i hope, move to the next. Therefore, it was still good, but not captivating: the author omitted descriptions of the two battles (it seemed that he just didn’t know how to do this), he missed some great opportunities (i can only imagine how interesting could be hijacking or boarding (?) the interstellar ship that is alive), and was only trying to finish his wide-scope plan for this volume.
CONCLUSION If you read Revelation Space and Chasm City, don’t hesitate to read Redemption Ark. It has some problems, but final estimation could be done only after the last book of the cycle. (less)
It's a great sci-fi book, maybe one of the best of this century. There are three main points, why it is so good.
1. First is a plot. It is interesting,...moreIt's a great sci-fi book, maybe one of the best of this century. There are three main points, why it is so good.
1. First is a plot. It is interesting, captivating and consistant, but this isn't so important. Composition is. There are three story lines, from the first glance almost unconnected. But when they finally merge, you can see, how good Reynolds is. This composition is kind of quirky, but it makes the whole picture very beautiful.
2. This is hard sci-fi. Reynolds is a physicist, so his fiction is realistic. There are no faster-than-light space travels; beam weapons, i mean of small arms, do not blow up targets or kill instantly, unles some vital organs are hit etc. Although there are some moments i do not agree with, as a whole, from the point of view of natural sciences it is mostly realistic. But strange thing, this book is more realistic from the point of view of logic, psychology, and social sciences. And this i like very much.
3. And the most beautiful part - the atmosphere. Virgin jungles of Sky's Edge, small crews at large ships of flotilla drifting in a deep space, and urban ambient of this mesmerizingly nice megalopolis Chasm City. All this is described so vividly that you can feel this deep solitude at the spaceship or weirdness and unsafety of the city. Could someone tell me how to get to Epsilon Eridani system? LOL(less)