Zach's Reviews > Revelation Space

Revelation Space by Alastair Reynolds
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Apr 15, 12

bookshelves: science-fiction, horror
Read from January 04 to 17, 2012

A very dark space opera featuring some very cool scenes, ideas, and set pieces, mostly revolving around the Nostalgia for Infinity: an ancient and decrepit space ship the size of a small city, decaying, infected with a plague that messily blends the organic and the mechanic, and generally just a gothic haunted house transposed hundreds of years into the future. The ship’s captain has fallen prey to said disease and is frozen at the bottom of the ship in order to slow the amalgamation, while what’s left of his crew try to track down an archaeologist who for no good reason is the only one who can save the captain. Then there’s a mystery about some extinct aliens. It doesn’t matter because none of the plot makes any damn sense, especially if you expend any effort trying to poke holes in it at all.

A lot of this book is kind of charmingly messy and amateurish. The prose, while not exactly good, is not exactly bad either, although the dialogue is... painful. Either expository or action-hero-sarcastic - whereas some of us might answer the question “Do you ___?” with “no,” Reynolds’ characters are more likely to say something like “Do I exactly seem like I ___ at the moment right now?” Can’t you just feel the bad-ass sarcasm? Speaking of which, there is one character that all the other characters always refer to as a scary badass kind of guy, but he never does anything and is kind of a chump, actually. Reynolds is not good at showing instead of telling. It is also worth mentioning, though, that two of the three main characters are women, who are just as strong/resourceful/intelligent (uh... bad-ass) as the men, and who never suffer any sort of humiliation or indignity predicated on the fact that they are women.

I’m running out of things to say despite the fact that this book was like 600 pages long and seemed to move along a mile a minute, but not all that much really happened. This review is coming across more negatively than I intended, but it’s really the haunted-house-spaceship that saved it. Hopefully Reynolds gets better in later books.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Slap Happy (new)

Slap Happy For some reason, I kinda wanna read this now... except the length runs about 300 pages too long for me.


Zach Ironically enough, having about 300 pages edited out of it would have made this a much, much stronger book.


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