Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Poseidon's Wake (Poseidon's Children, #3)” as Want to Read:
Poseidon's Wake (Poseidon's Children, #3)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Read Book

Poseidon's Wake

(Poseidon's Children #3)

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  3,388 ratings  ·  246 reviews
“Few SF writers merge rousing adventure with advanced futuristic technology as skillfully as Alastair Reynolds” (Toronto Star), the award-winning author of On the Steel Breeze. In the conclusion of his Poseidon’s Children saga, the Akinya family receives an invitation from across the stars—and a last opportunity to redeem their name...
Send Ndege…
The cryptic message ori
Hardcover, 598 pages
Published April 28th 2015 by Gollancz
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Poseidon's Wake, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
MadProfessah Each of the three books in the series can TECHNICALLY be read on its own, but I am confident that they will be enjoyed to fuller effect if you have re…moreEach of the three books in the series can TECHNICALLY be read on its own, but I am confident that they will be enjoyed to fuller effect if you have read them in order. Also, in some sense I think most people agree that Book 1 and Book 2 are probably better than Book 3 (although some people like Book 2 more than Book 1) so that is another reason to start with BLUE REMEMBERED EARTH and then read ON THE STEEL BREEZE.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.81  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,388 ratings  ·  246 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Poseidon's Wake (Poseidon's Children, #3)
Sep 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
Reynolds continues to amaze. I remembered Blue Remembered Earth very fondly and this third book, taking place several hundred years after the events taking place there, captures more than just the spirit, but gives us one hell of an adventure among the stars.

Best points?

The Watchmakers, a race of sublime intelligences that went too far and are no longer fully conscious. :)
The uplifted elephants. :)

The sheer scope of the adventure, discovery, horror, and amazing courage. :)

This is Reynolds. Ne
Mar 04, 2015 marked it as tried-but-not-for-me
very disappointing trilogy overall; good first book, mediocre second, fairly unreadable third (read first 50 or so pages, last 25 or so and in between and nothing hooked me, not to speak of being connected tightly with the earlier books despite the original plan of taking place at large intervals which didn't help at all as once book 2 disappointed me, almost guaranteed this one would go on the "tried but didn't care about" list, though I really, really wanted to like it - also the ending read v ...more
Tudor Ciocarlie
Not as good as the Revelation Series, but I've loved the way Alastair Reynolds imagined the birth of a galactic civilization. This trilogy brought me great joy, food for thought and optimism for the future of humanity. ...more
Feb 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
*Copy received from Netgalley in exchange for a review*

Alastair Reynolds is known as an author with big ideas. From human modification, to techno-plagues, mega-crises to mega-structures, his writing has always contained big ideas. To get it out of the way, this book is no exception.

The narrative explores the journey of several scions of the Akinya family, who figured heavily in the previous two books in the same universe. Reynolds has done something clever here – setting each novel with protagon
Mar 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The epic saga of Akinya family reached the end. Not a definite ending, from my point of view; it could easily have more adventures written from this point. But it definitely has a closure.

There were moments when I thought that I will not give it five stars because of too many conversations between the characters and I rather prefer world building and introspection. But I just can’t not give it the maximum rating: Al R created a marvelous universe, full of hopes even if verging on futility.

May 07, 2015 rated it it was ok
Alastair Reynolds is one of my favorite sci-fi authors, but his quality is uneven. House of suns is one of the best sci-fi books ever, terminal worlds is very mediocre. The first two revelation space books were great, the last one not very. In keeping with this tradition, the quality of the Poseidon's Children books were trending upward, but the final book ends up being much closer in quality to terminal worlds. There are a variety of reasons for this. The constant paean to elephants is simply t ...more
Jul 17, 2015 rated it did not like it
"I will make dung, then you will assist me with the suit and the airlock"

I should start by saying that I am a huge Alastair Reynolds fan. The Revelation Space books are some of the most haunting, well written and engaging stories I've ever read. Literally years later, I still vividly recall many scenes from them. My appreciation of his novels and short stories has only grown with each new reading (including the non Revelations space books as well!) That is, up until this series and this book in
Glenn Mcconnochie
Jun 08, 2015 rated it it was ok
I have really tried with this trilogy but enough is enough, I can't do it anymore. The first book was quite good, the second was terrible and the third makes me want to curl up in a ball and die. ...more
Flow In
Mar 29, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: sci-fi
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Carbonbased Bookworm
‘Do you believe it?’ Goma asked.
‘Of course I believe it. Physics doesn’t give a damn about how we feel. It doesn’t give a damn about us sleeping soundly in our beds, thinking we matter.’
Aug 07, 2015 rated it did not like it
It's hit ("House Of Suns", "Diamond Dogs") and miss ("Century Rain") with Mr. Reynolds and unfortunately "Poseidon's Wake" may be his worst novel yet. If I were to summarize this book in one word, it would be "unnecessary".

As Reynolds is one of my favorite authors, I feel obligated to explain my 1-star rating. But where do I even start? There is so much wrong with this book. Let's start with the ideas pitched in this book.

Let me address the literal elephant in the room first. Uplifted elephants
Feb 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed, first-read
What I expected:

I have already read the first two stories in the series and really enjoyed them, I have been eagerly awaiting the third.  When I originally requested the e-ARC copy I hadn't realised that this was the third book, so I was really looking forward to reading this.

I expected it to continue in the advanced future, tracking the legacy of the Akinya family, left by Eunice, and including the development of Geoffrey's beloved elephants. The previous two books were not strictly linked in t
May 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015, science-fiction
Poseidon's Wake is the third volume in the Poseidon's Children series by Alastair Reynolds. The events of this book are set a few centuries in the future from the second book - On The Steel Breeze. The main protagonists are still part of the Akinya clan. We find Mpozi, Goma and Ndege on Crucible and Kanu in the Solar System.

The book explores the results of the arrival of the Watchkeepers and the aftermath of the Mandala event at the conclusion of "Steel Breeze".

Let me be honest - I found the bo
Outstanding. Everything I want from science fiction and more. Including elephants! Loved every single page.

David Rubenstein
This is the third book in the series "Poseidon's Children" by Alastair Reynolds. The first book in the series Blue Remembered Earth was wonderful. The second was ok. This third book, not so much. It didn't capture my imagination. I listened to all three novels as an audiobook. Perhaps I was turned off in this book by the narrator. Each character was given a different voice--which is great. But some characters were given voices that were just terrible. ...more
Esteban Vega
Aug 07, 2018 rated it it was ok
It's OK I guess.

I've realized Reynolds can't write characters. They don't develop, they're mono-dimensional beings that stay on a dialogue loop with few variations, and sometimes they even get dumped unceremoniously and you forget all about them because their irrelevancy to the story. They are repeated across novels with different names and occupations.

This is infuriating.

Ru's a bitch that can't get on with the program and keeps throwing jabs at Eunice just because, Ana Khouri did it so much bet
Johan Haneveld
Jan 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
3,5 stars. The half star for the ambition itself. I thought this book lacked a bit of the focus on characters from the first two books. Maybe this is because it spans less time (or more, but it is spent in hybernation mostly), focussing instead on exploration. The conflicts are not political as in the earlier books, but more philosophical/abstract. Some conflict was forced, almost as if the author was searching for interpersonal problems to add some spice to the story. That being said: this book ...more
Klaas Bottelier
This was not a great read, some parts were too long and not very interesting and I thought that there weren’t that many characters to care about. Where Poseidon’s Wake shines is its awe-inspiring concepts. There are physical phenomena, like the mysterious Mandala and the Watchkeepers, and there are concepts of the mind, like the Gupta-Wing Threshold, which deals with states of consciousness and then there are the diverse machine intelligences. These concepts and phenomena make you want to keep r ...more
Poseidon’s Wake (2015) is the final novel of Alastair Reynolds’ space opera trilogy Poseidon’s Children. It comes after Blue Remembered Earth (2012) and On the Steel Breeze (2013) - and is NOT set in his Revelation Space universe. While each of these lengthy novels ends with a plot conclusion, the backstory continues across subsequent generations of the same Akinya family, and conclusions to the some of the backstory are in this volume. So, I recommend reading in order, rather than this one as a ...more
Feb 05, 2016 rated it it was ok
An indulgent, bloated, disappointing conclusion to a flat and uninspiring trilogy. There is barely a spark of the Alastair Reynolds we love to be seen here - no gasps of delight or horror, just a dull story that moves at a crawl and where even in the end, very little actually transpires.
Oct 02, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Compared with the earlier installments in this series this one felt a bit limited.

In the earlier books the focus on the Akinya's and their elephants made more sense, here it felt too forced.

Still good, but not my favorite books by Reynold.
Mar 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So, I’ve got this tendency to read books, have real thoughts about them, then forget what fleeting thoughts I had about them by the time I sit down to write them out. Funny, part of me writing reviews at all is a response to me reading books, then seeing them a year or two later and not being able to remember anything about it at all. When goodreads came along I thought it would be a perfect repository for my precious thoughts about a given book.

I’d be able to go over previous plot summaries, t
This is - probably - the final book in the Poseidon's Children series, though the are plenty of unanswered questions to justify a sequel or two.

Overall, the trilogy is one of Reynolds' better efforts in recent years, though this particular novel was overlong (I skimmed the last 100 pages or so) and his efforts to make the characters interesting were hit-and-miss. I don't know whether the author and his readers might have been better served if he had focused on the Watchkeeper/Mandala-Builder plo
Jan 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Emphatically the concluding volume of a trilogy, this is the sort of geeky, cliquey SF book that will remain endlessly puzzling to non-genre fans: a lot of ‘talking head’ digressions about some rather arcane philosophical points such as vacuum fluctuations and deep time, wedded to a seemingly unhealthy obsession with scientific matters and alien creatures and objects. Not to mention such absurdities as elephants in spacesuits.

When I first read Blue Remembered Earth a few years ago, I wondered wh
Jun 27, 2016 rated it did not like it
Is this really the same author who wrote Revelation Space?

This book (in fact, the whole trilogy) scores one star simply because, against the high standards that Reynolds has previously set, this trilogy is a complete turkey.

It is stupendously boring. It is a prime example of how to kill a story with excessive dialogue, with almost the entire plot being told through conversations between the various characters, almost none of whom was remotely interesting.

I try to read a book by actually reading
Jill Carroll
Oct 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
I quite enjoyed this trilogy, which I tend to think of as The Eunice Akinya Trilogy. Right up there with C.J. Cherryh's Unionside Trilogy. Almost as good as Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars Trilogy, or his Climate Change Trilogy (Science in the Capitol). Better than Dune (which faded so much from book to book), or Foundation (which had great ideas but lacked characterization). It is the first Reynolds I've read, but I think I'm about to embark on some serious binge reading. Pushing Ice is now calling ...more
Konstantinos Georgokitsos
Apr 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Space opera still is Reynolds' strength, and he delivers the wonders of the universe as expertly as ever. In fact he is putting the personal, human stories before the galactic events, and keeps us firmly grounded on the human condition. And a bit of our humanity can come a long way, even if faced with incomprehensibly advanced aliens.
I would wish, though, that his books were a bit more concise, as the story was hanging a bit at places. Sheer page count in SF books is so 90's.
The three Poseidon's Children novels by Alastair Reynolds feel like a blend of the best of Arthur C. Clarke's long-dead alien encounter stories and Kim Stanley Robinson's hard SF concepts and characters, with a little bit of Larry Niven's Ringworld thrown in for good measure.

Everything about these books reminds me of these big, century-spanning epics, and this final part, with its cast of scientists, mermen, AIs and hyper-intelligent elephants really hits the sweet spot between adventurous and t
Sep 13, 2021 rated it liked it
Honestly a somewhat disappointing conclusion to the series. If I could give it 2.5 stars I probably would.

What had impressed me up until this point in the series was Reynolds's capacity to introduce a whole new suite of characters - only loosely tied to those that came before - and still leave you feeling emotionally connected to them and their ties with the Akinya family. Unfortunately Poseidon's Wake falls short in this regard. Some characters feel poorly developed, whilst others are just fran
Will R
Feb 28, 2021 rated it really liked it
Beautiful, elegaic. Reynolds rages against the dying of the light — of humanity, of consciousness, of meaning itself — in this final book in the series. Was it overlong; possibly. Were the characters Reynolds's typical fare of competent, cold protagonists; undoubtedly. Does it make this conclusion any less powerful? I think not. ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Solarpunk: Poseidon's Wake (November 2020) 24 25 Jan 02, 2021 03:29PM  
Not available in Canada via Audible 1 2 Sep 04, 2015 11:42AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Eyes of the Void (The Final Architecture, #2)
  • Light Chaser
  • The Saints of Salvation (Salvation Sequence #3)
  • Shards of Earth (The Final Architecture, #1)
  • Stars and Bones (Stars and Bones, #1)
  • A Night Without Stars (Chronicle of the Fallers #2)
  • Surface Detail (Culture #9)
  • Light of Impossible Stars (Embers of War, #3)
  • Termination Shock
  • A Desolation Called Peace (Teixcalaan, #2)
  • Invisible Sun (Empire Games #3)
  • Fallen Dragon
  • Elder Race
  • Leviathan Falls (The Expanse, #9)
  • Great North Road
  • 2312
  • Noumenon Infinity (Noumenon #2)
  • Fleet of Knives (Embers of War, #2)
See similar books…
I'm Al, 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 future named after Revela ...more

Other books in the series

Poseidon's Children (3 books)
  • Blue Remembered Earth (Poseidon's Children, #1)
  • On the Steel Breeze (Poseidon's Children, #2)

Related Articles

We’re halfway through 2022—that seemed awfully fast, didn’t it?—so it’s time once again for our annual check-in of Goodreads’ most popular new...
376 likes · 262 comments
“Even monsters are beautiful.” 9 likes
“Oh, I’m not perfect – not by a long stretch. I just make the rest of you look bad.” 2 likes
More quotes…