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On the Steel Breeze

(Poseidon's Children #2)

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  5,683 ratings  ·  345 reviews
The award-winning author of Blue Remembered Earth continues his saga as the next generation of the Akinya family crosses interstellar space seeking humanity’s future...

Chiku Akinya, great granddaughter of the legendary space explorer Eunice and heir to the family empire, is just one among millions on a long one way journey towards a planet they hope to call their new hom
Kindle Edition, 492 pages
Published June 3rd 2014 by Ace (first published September 26th 2013)
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Patrick Mcnelis You could read this as a standalone, but you would miss quite a bit of backstory. No reason you couldn't go back later, if that backstory sounds intri…moreYou could read this as a standalone, but you would miss quite a bit of backstory. No reason you couldn't go back later, if that backstory sounds intriguing, and reading the 1st book as a prequel.(less)

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Average rating 4.03  · 
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 ·  5,683 ratings  ·  345 reviews

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Start your review of On the Steel Breeze (Poseidon's Children, #2)
Feb 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Despite of general opinion that is slower than the Blue Remembered Earth and does not have that sense of wonder, I found it better than the first; mainly, because its scope is greatly increased and second, because of the focus on the psychology behind the actions of the two trios: Chiku and the artilects. Moreover, a good part of the story takes place in Lisbon, which is my favorite city and it was so easy to immerse myself in the book, to be side by side with Chiku when she drank her coffee abo ...more
Nov 16, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2013, e-books
4 Stars

On the Steel Breeze (OtSB), book two in the Poseidon’s Children series by Alastair Reynolds is a tremendous work of science fiction and a real page turner. It does not have the technical specs of the first book Blue Remembered Earth, nor does it have as much character development in it. It also comes up short from the first in regards to the depth and complexity of the plot and story. That being said, OtSB is a much better page turner and maybe even more enjoyable of a read as it is an ea
Oct 24, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf, wales
Typical Reynolds: untypical Reynolds.

This novel follows on from Blue Remembered Earth, telling the tale of human space exploration through the history of the Akinya family. It could be read independently but it'll work better if you've read it's predecessor - and why wouldn't you? That was a superior piece of SF. This is, too!

Three colour-coded members of the Akinya family split up and go very separate ways -light years apart - yet they all end up embroiled in history-making adventures and they
Nov 14, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I couldn't put the book down but once I did, I didn't want to pick it up again because it made me feel uncomfortable. It was a feeling of wrongness. Of desolation and futility.
An odd one.
Apr 12, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf-and-fantasy, 2013
This semi-direct sequel to Blue Remembered Earth is problematic, mainly because it is two novels in one:

The first is an account of the rise of artificial intelligence on Earth to produce an egalitarian society akin to Iain Banks's Culture. Known as the Mechanism, this all-knowing, all-seeing presence, however, becomes 'corrupted',which leads to an inevitable stand-off between humans and machines.

The second is about humanity's first expedition to an Earth-analogue planet in a caravan of generati
Tudor Ciocarlie
Although quieter than the Revelation Space books, On the Steel Breeze is still a mind blowing novel. It centers around a fascinating question - it is possible for a Galactic Civilization to be born in a universe like ours, where greater than light travel is not possible? The answers are even more intriguing than the question, and show that the space-opera subgenre can still feel fresh and interesting.
Jun 13, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very enjoyable read! I've dithered about giving this 3 or 4 stars, and realized the difference between the 2 is a 4 makes me ponder "deep" stuff, while a 3 very much engrosses me but when I'm done reading, it's out of mind.
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
Not the easiest read, with a lot of technological concepts to integrate. However, it was a fulfilling read. And a form of therapy for an artificial intelligence phobic person like myself.

Reviewed for Bitten by Books.
Aug 25, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A surprisingly disappointing sequel. The first book was hit and miss, but was interesting enough to keep me going. This book, though.... Reynolds has a knack for finding the least interesting plot development, making that the center of the narrative for an interminably long stretch, and then following that by having a character show up to give the protagonist a detailed, after-the-fact account of events happening elsewhere that would have made a much more engaging focus for the story. This happe ...more
Consistently hi-quality. I haven't read a Reynolds novel that I've disliked. I'm always surprised, pleasantly, by how he can turn relatively innocent main characters into normal people thrown into massively world-changing situations and yet still allow them the opportunities to make the big decisions that change the galaxy anyway. These are very fun and satisfying novels. Every time I think to myself, "Well, this is probably not my cup of tea, I'll just get through this one and then move on to a ...more
The speculative edge of Blue Remembered Earth is replaced not so much by Monolith/Mandala shenanigans (as I feared) but by artilect stuff. Pretty standard fare? Not quite. This is a Reynolds so the light lag complicates matters.
In spite of serious plot issues, the middle of the book especially is a more engaging read than the prequel on a superficial level. If you're looking for space adventures with less violence, less impossible physics and less Anglo supremacism than is typical in the genre,
★ Cara ★
Oct 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Brilliant, rivetting read! I have not enjoyed a(n Alastair Reynolds) book this much since Pushing Ice. The thrill of each page turn took me back to Reynolds' Revelation Space days. Just when I thought I might end a chapter and give it a rest for the night, the last couple of paragraphs compelled me to continue. Couldn't put the book down, so much so, that on the last day I ploughed through it during my classes (lecture notes be damned)!


On the Steel Breeze surpasses its predecessor
Oct 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I would suggest reading BLUE REMEMBERED EARTH first, not necessary, but it adds so much to the depth of story, making ON THE STEEL BREEZE a wonderful experience, beginning to end. Alastair knows how to end his stories and have me craving his next work.
Apr 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As with 'Blue Remembered Earth', this starts off languorously. A third of the book had passed before I felt involved, something not helped by some particularly chilly (and under-described) characters who were initially hard to like, plus a lot of lengthy dialogue which wasn't pretending to be anything but expositional.

There are payoffs to this slow start, however. When interesting things do start to happen, the detailed groundwork of early chapters makes the ramping of tension and disquiet both
Tommy Carlson
This is the sequel to Blue Remembered Earth. I didn't like that one much. I don't like this one much either. I mean, I didn't hate either one; I just wasn't thrilled.

Most of the characters lack any sort of agency. Things happen to them or push them into certain actions. It doesn't help that much of the story is told in flashbacks. It's an odd choice in dealing with time dilation. I don't think it was a good one.

All that said, it's well written and contains more in the way of big ideas than the f
Luke Burrage
I finished this last week, but didn't have internet access to tell anyone.

It's a very interesting storytelling experiment, but the ideas and concepts get in the way of pacing. Which is intentional, but don't make it any less weird to read.

Full review on my podcast, SFBRP episode #not-sure-yet.
Andrew Tomchik
And my love/hate relationship with Alastair Reynolds continues. I love his vision of future science and technology, and I love half of his characters. I hate that his plots tend to start strong but then slow down and meander, and I hate the other half of his characters.
Oct 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved Blue Remembered Earth but On the Steel Breeze, its distant sequel, surpasses it. This is no mean achievement.

On the Steel Breeze is the second in Alastair Reynolds’ Poseidon’s Children trilogy. Set a significant period of time after Blue Remembered Earth, it follows the story of Chiku Akinya, the great granddaughter of Eunice Akinya - the space-travel pioneering matriarch whose absence dominated the previous story.

Chiku is an intriguing science fiction creation - she is actually three separate individuals who are the result of the original Chiku cloning herself twice, and then interweaving the cloned
Oct 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
This book addressed what I find to be the biggest problem with Alastair Reynolds' writing in specific and with hard space opera in general: inaccessible characters. I want my characters--at least some of them--to be idealistic. I want them to inhabit a rich moral universe where conceptions of right and wrong, good and evil, sacred and profane, and innumerable other judgments pervade their universe and influence their actions. Where people try to do the right thing--even if they have totally diff ...more
Thomas Haverkamp
Sep 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
An excellently sf story, that is very intriguing.
Matthew Dowd
Jul 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reynolds is always a joy to read, and he manages to make old territory feel new.
Adam  McPhee
Empathy was not built to operate across interstellar space.

Mostly liked this. Kept thinking of it as Zola in space. You know, track a family across generations and see how their environments effect them or whatever. And I guess because the family went from being an oligarchy in the first book to genteel poverty here, which is something you don't see often in Science Fiction. Better control group here, though: a daughter of the Akinyas clones herself twice and shares her memories out; one of the
Dec 11, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Come on you raver, you seer of visions?

Firstly let me say that, as I hoped, I did enjoy this much more than the first book of the trilogy. Blue Remembered Earth set out an interesting world, but the treasure hunt story didn't take full advantage of it. This book takes a broader scale though with fewer characters, principally one character in two places at once - or two characters with shared memories. Taking place simultaneously on Earth and on board a colonisation ship en route to a distant sta
Aug 01, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-read-2014
The is the sequel to Blue Remembered Earth, a brilliant start to this series, so I was hoping for and expecting great things from this book.

At the very end of that book, humanity had discovered a planet that had signs of life, and more importantly civilisation. They have despatched a number of hollowships; which are hollowed out asteroids to this remote planet, with the intention of making it their new home. Onboard is Chiku, one of the Akinya family. She has two cloned sisters who have shared m
Paul Grenyer
Mar 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Johan Haneveld
Apr 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3,5 stars.
Like many reviewers here I tottered between three and four stars for this volume. on the one hand this is the kind of SF I like the best: constrained by laws of nature, human characters in extraordinary circumstances, yet not losing their humanity, a clear sense of awe and different environments lovingly detailed. With some great 'why didn't I think of that for my own stories' idea's sprinkled throughout. The main concept is a beauty: a single person wants to experience several things,
“Gideon” Dave Newell
Taking the history he created in ‘Blue Remembered Earth’ forward another generation, Alastair Reynolds succeeds in teasing the reader’s interest in the alien mystery waiting at the end of a 200-year old journey, but keeps the scope of events surprisingly restrained for an author known to write in cosmic epochs that laugh at stacks of expired civilizations. Again, he keeps his dramatic perspective on one single family, which can really be said to in fact be one person, duplicated across three clo ...more
Oct 01, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Quite disappointing - one of the few A Reynolds novels that bored me to no end except for the last 50 or so pages which were excellent and a return to form; the novelty from Blue Remembered Earth is gone, the storyline(s) are very drawn out boring almost to the end with the standard "abundant technological future" tropes where all conflict is kind of made up rather than real, the characters live very long lives that are not really reflected in the page by the author as they act like regular huma ...more
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I'm Al, now a Goodreads author. I used to be a space scientist, and now I'm a writer, although for a time the two careers ran in parallel. I started off publishing short stories in the British SF magazine Interzone in the early 90s, then eventually branched into novels. I write about a novel a year and try to write a few short stories as well. Some of my books and stories are set in a consistent f ...more

Other books in the series

Poseidon's Children (3 books)
  • Blue Remembered Earth (Poseidon's Children, #1)
  • Poseidon's Wake (Poseidon's Children, #3)

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