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Probability Space

(Probability Trilogy #3)

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  629 ratings  ·  38 reviews
Nancy Kress cemented her reputation in SF with the publication of her multiple-award–winning novella, “Beggars in Spain,” which became the basis for her extremely successful Beggars Trilogy (comprising Beggars in Spain, Beggars and Choosers, and Beggars Ride).

And now she brings us Probability Space, the conclusion of the trilogy that began with Probability Moon and then Pr
Paperback, 368 pages
Published January 5th 2004 by Tor Science Fiction (first published 2002)
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Average rating 3.70  · 
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 ·  629 ratings  ·  38 reviews

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Jul 13, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf
This book finishes up the series, and I can't quite say whether it's with a bang or a whimper, but the ending is unexpected and satisfying. There's plenty of action. We get a brief return to World, and see how it's faring without shared reality (fairly well, considering). And that's it for World; as this is the last book, we'll never know how things turn out. We have our solar system's political intrigues and upheaval. And it's all moved along by the war with the hostile aliens who won't talk to ...more
Jun 12, 2012 rated it it was ok
I didn't realize until I was far into Probability Space that this is the third book of a trilogy. I suppose that's a good sign -- I was able to understand everything perfectly well without the earlier two books. Perhaps, though, I would have liked more of the characters and been more interested in the worldbuilding if I had already been accustomed to them when starting this story.

Of the main characters mentioned on the back cover --
an unlikely group: Major Lyle Kaufman, retired warrior; Marbet G
Feb 18, 2008 rated it did not like it
I'm a fan of Nancy Kress' novels. I enjoyed the first book in this series quite a bit and enjoyed the second book, though not as much. This one, however, fell flat for me.

The people of World that made the first two books so interesting are only a footnote in this story. This is almost entirely concerned with human politics and maneuverings and it just never worked for me as that sort of story.

That isn't to say I hated the story. I didn't, but I didn't really like it either. If it weren't the (ap
Karen A. Wyle
May 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
I'm rounding up a bit, but I'm very pleased with this series conclusion (or what appears to be a conclusion, at least for now).

Kress continues, in this book, to explore the physics she established in the earlier books. She makes excellent use of the characters, human and other, and in particular the one truly alien species in the series (the Fallers). The plot resolution is unexpected, yet appropriate -- though how satisfying the reader finds it will vary with the reader.
Jacqui-Lou Read
Feb 24, 2018 rated it did not like it
Consider this a review for the entire trilogy: I started reading because the first book seemed like it could be a Le Guin-esque anthropological first contact story, which is a sub genre I'm really into. Then I got hooked, and needed to read the following books... despite my understanding they would be underwhelming at best. The characters are two-dimensional. The prose is dull and inspiring. Constant exposition makes for a tedious read: there are passages of info-dumping that are repeated verbat ...more
Paul Calhoun
Mar 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Just as suddenly as this series becomes Weber-esque military SF, it then becomes the Expanse before the Expanse was written. It really did remind me both of Caliban's War and Blue Remembered Earth. I'll even say I liked it better than an Expanse book because the author knows how to end a series, and this series has nicely run its course. There's a well crafted rebellion, some good drama with the running away sequence, and a mystery to solve. All very well done. ...more
Gary Reger
Apr 14, 2021 rated it liked it
Kress's novel is fast-paced and well-conceived in many ways, but it does suffer from some, shall we say, improbabilities. Its physicist-hero apparently doesn't do very good physics, given that the deus ex machina that saves the universe in the end is an effect of an alien device whose operation he discovered. There's a "sensitive"--someone who can read the subtle shifts in body and expression--whose abilities don't really figure in the plot; she could just have been a regular person. The 14-year ...more
Earl Truss
May 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
I finished the Probability trilogy. Nancy Kress is becoming one of my favorite authors. I started with the Beggars in Spain novella some years ago then read the Sleepless trilogy and enjoyed them all. Some of the explanations of the science made up for the story were a bit long but actually sounded like it might work.
Jon Caldwell
May 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great conclusion of the probability universe

Well written with some really brilliant science fiction ideas in it. Believable characters and world building. I really like Nancy Kress's brain. Bravo!
May 13, 2020 rated it it was ok
Not impressed by the story focusing so much on one character without much importance. Also the end was anticlimactic even though it seemed to be building up to something quite interesting. You can definitely skip this book.
Deya Azza
Jun 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
This last book was the best. Lots of action and suspans. I really enjoyed this trilogy. Thank you!
Jul 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Slow at start, but a pretty good final chapter to the trilogy.
I recommend!
Ian Lewis
Feb 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a 3 1/2. It's a page turner and kept me interested the entire time. On its own it's a 4 star book. Not earth shattering, but a highly enjoyable, well written adventure that doesn't beggar belief too much.

However, as a sequel to the first two books, it falls short. It has almost nothing to do with the major characters and events on World. I would have enjoyed reading the conclusion of what happens to the Worlders, which is not what this book is. The problem is the other two books are not
Dev Null
Jun 26, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: science-fiction
I liked the first two in this series, but this was barely ok. The best bits were the carry-overs from the previous books, and the world that its set in; the story itself is mostly a dead loss. Its pretty much a long rambling narrative where things happen to people beyond their control; noone really seems to _do_ anything. One of the two main narrative focus characters is a fairly shallow teenager whos not terribly interesting to watch be acted upon. And the main premise / twist - the space gates ...more
Alison C
Mar 04, 2015 rated it liked it
Probability Space is the final book in Nancy Kress' "probability trilogy," with the action taking place a couple of years after the previous book in the series, Probability Sun. Here, we follow retired Major Kaufman and his partner, a Sensitive named Marbet, as they travel back to World to rescue the humans who remained behind at the end of the last book; there, they encounter Magdalena, a major power-broker in the human universe and a force unto herself. Meanwhile, physicist Tom Capelo has been ...more
David Cain
Jan 08, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017
This is the concluding volume in the Probability trilogy and it was the most entertaining. It includes a nice mix of familiar and memorable new characters and is the strongest story of the three. In an effort to make this work as a stand-alone novel, Kress repeats numerous passages from the first two books in the series - sometimes verbatim - which became old quickly. The last several hundred pages were the only time in the trilogy where I felt a sense of momentum and that the plot was consequen ...more
Doug Dandridge
Aug 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The third book of Nancy Kress’s series about a new fundamental particle and the ancient artifact that uses it, it ratchets up the tension while introducing a new menace that could end space as we know it. Throw in a coupe in the solar system, and a new commander who wants to end the war with a victory at all costs, a child trying to find her kidnapped physicist father who holds the key to understanding the alien tech, and a rescue mission to World, which is learning to adjust to new cultural imp ...more
Mar 23, 2013 rated it liked it
The beginning chapters bode poorly...several focus on Amanda Capelo, who was unimportant before and remains uninteresting now. The absence of World characters early on is surprisingly noticeable.

Halfway point:
Amanda Capelo is a boring and useless character - I'm sure that plot will go somewhere eventually but it sure hasn't yet.

Midway plot twist: brilliant. The setup is slightly clunky in terms of strange character behavior. It's marred by a huge and unnecessary factual inconsistency with book 2
Paige Ellen Stone
Sep 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Read the summaries that are on the page for this book on Amazon. I can add little other than that, unlike some, who find some of the characters and situations improbable, I found this to be the best book of the three and an excellent wrap-up of the trilogy. Suspension of disbelief is required of readers in this genre and I did not find mine tested at all. The characters are wonderful, fascinating, confused, irritating, frightening and everything in between. I admit that the warrior for hope who ...more
Sep 26, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Yes I'm giving this two stars. I wish I liked it more but I was annoyed that Amanda was one of the main characters and I don't much feel any kind of empathy for any of the others. I liked the action on World in the first two books, but other than a brief glimpse into the Fallers ship here, this third book didn't keep me interested. I didn't connect with anything that was happening and the weird coincidence of Amanda meeting her Greek boyfriend was a little too convenient for me. I liked the cult ...more
Feb 14, 2010 rated it it was ok
Didn't realize this was book 3 of a trilogy when I picked it up at the library, but I read it anyway. I didn't feel out of touch with the world, but I didn't enjoy it that much either. (Other reviewers seem to indicate this is the weakest book in the series)

I had little interest in the teenage character (the smart but slave-to-her-hormones daughter of a brilliant missing physicist) which drove most of the story.
Christopher McKitterick
A fine SF novel capping an excellent trilogy. I loved the characters, the range of conflicts, the scope of Kress' vision, the "hard-SF-ness" of it. Best of all, it's a satisfying conclusion (with ever-higher stakes!) to a great series. You can't get bigger stakes than the potential destruction of all space-time!

Recommended, as with most Kress work.
Jun 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
I didn't find out until now that this is actually the third book in a trilogy. Nevertheless, I enjoyed it very much. There were only few instances where I had the feeling that the author could have explained things a lot more in detail, other than that I could quickly follow the conflicts without knowing the first two.
Karen Heuler
Dec 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing

The best so far. Clearly, what appeals to me are the quite human and complex characters in a story with wide-ranging repercussions. Technology gets abused, from both the alien and human sides, science still surprises, and consequences always catch up.
Jul 01, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: scifi
I greatly enjoyed re-reading this series - although this last book was my least favorite. The action moved away from "World" and shared reality (or dealing with the loss of shared reality) and turned more into a space opera. ...more
Jan 08, 2008 rated it it was ok
At best this series was mediocre. I was hoping for a more entertaining read.
Oct 23, 2008 rated it liked it
I did enjoy this book, but not as much as the second one. It was fun to know what happens next though.
May 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
A strong conclusion to the trilogy.
Lots of focus on military tactics.
The character Amanda was my favorite in this book.
Nov 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
The conclusion of this trilogy uses the concepts of modern quantum physics to explain a future war.
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Nancy Kress is an American science fiction writer. She began writing in 1976 but has achieved her greatest notice since the publication of her Hugo and Nebula-winning 1991 novella Beggars in Spain which was later expanded into a novel with the same title. In addition to her novels, Kress has written numerous short stories and is a regular columnist for Writer's Digest. She is a regular at Clar ...more

Other books in the series

Probability Trilogy (3 books)
  • Probability Moon (Probability, #1)
  • Probability Sun (Probability, #2)

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