Ian Peterson's Reviews > Troika

Troika by Alastair Reynolds
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Jun 13, 11

bookshelves: scifi
Read on June 12, 2011

Troika follows the story of cosmonaut Dmitri Ivanov, one of three crew members who visited a mysterious artifact that appeared in our solar system in the near future. The artifact is nicknamed the Matryoshka, after the famous Russian nesting dolls, since it is egg shaped and consists of many layers. No one knows where the Matryoshka came from, and since it has done nothing in the solar system, these Russian cosmonauts go to visit.

The story begins years after the mission, with Dmitri escaping a Russian institute in Siberia to contact a scientist who worked on the project initially. The story blends the "current" day story line of Dmitri's conversation, with flashbacks to the mission.

Troika is, simply put, fantastic. The story is presented in a fast paced manner, and holds the reader in terms of events and ideas. Reynolds has written a succint little novella that truly captures the imagination.

Unfortunately it would reveal too much of the ending to really go in depth into some of the ideas of the book, but essentially Reynolds puts a huge emphasis on how important space exploration is today. It makes sense, since Reynolds has a background with the European Space Agency.

The only knock is that the characters aren't really fleshed out completely, but they don't need to be in so short of a book. Troika is all about the Matryoshka, and the artifact becomes the central character of the book anyways. It all just works really well together.

I came away from this book extremely satisfied, and I urge you to pick up a copy soon.

(Check out this review and others at SciFi Readers)
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