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Seven Surrenders

(Terra Ignota #2)

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  4,224 ratings  ·  519 reviews
The second book of Terra Ignota, a political SF epic of extraordinary audacity. It is a world in which near-instantaneous travel from continent to continent is free to all.

In which automation now provides for everybody’s basic needs.
In which nobody living can remember an actual war.
In which it is illegal for three or more people to gather for the practice of religion—but e
Hardcover, 365 pages
Published March 7th 2017 by Tor Books
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Ada Palmer There is an audiobook of Seven Surrenders on the way, though I don't actually know the release date; I'm betting it'll be very soon, close to the book…moreThere is an audiobook of Seven Surrenders on the way, though I don't actually know the release date; I'm betting it'll be very soon, close to the book release. I had some great conversations with the reader about characterization a few months ago, so I believe recording is done. There is bad news and good news however. Bad news: Jefferson Mays wasn't free to do it, so we're having a different reader. Good news: I think the new reader is really great too, and has put a ton of work into character subtleties like hinting at what people's native languages are, so I hope you enjoy it!(less)
Ada Palmer Yes, March 7th is the answer, but it's March 7th for sure this time! I've even actually seen a physical copy of the book, so it does/will exist!…moreYes, March 7th is the answer, but it's March 7th for sure this time! I've even actually seen a physical copy of the book, so it does/will exist!(less)

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Thanks to the publisher for the ARC of this novel!

This is one of those situations where extremely high expectation meets flawless delivery, and I can't be happier for it.

Too Like The Lightning was a futuristic political thriller with very heavy under and overtones about the meaning of God and what it means, with great variety and depth of exploration, to a people who are both jaded and very reliant on old Enlightenment ideas and ideals even though they're firmly set in the 25th Century.

By way of
4ish stars.

In my review of Too Like the Lightning I questioned whether that book was pretentious. After reading this second book I feel that I can confidently confirm that suspicion about this series. I think it's extremely intelligent, ambitious, and layered. It’s also ostentatious, affected and self-satisfied. Regardless, it’s very entertaining in a gaudy sort of way and, if not quite brilliant, it’s a very well realized possible future. Ultimately, the best way I can describe this book is to
Sherwood Smith
Feb 20, 2017 added it
Shelves: sf, fantasy
The short version is, Big Secrets Blow Up Bigger.

Long version: this is a gleefully, even triumphantly messy novel, which revels in the messiness while gradually drawing us toward a conclusion.

Our differently-sane narrator repeatedly assures us of the absolute truth of their testimony while mixing gender pronouns (and assumptions), Enlightenment language with modern, modes of address, Germanic Capitalization of Nouns and glyphs of other languages, striking sparks off two thousand years of philoso
Mar 19, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Brilliant, high octane intrigue. Daring, bold and as imaginative (and quite often as over the top) as top notch anime
Change is the enemy here, too many changes, too big, too fast.

General and some reminiscent works
Seven Surrenders picks up hot on the trail of the story told in Too Like the Lightning. If that book felt like a long setup of a very interesting world, this book focusses on the pieces on the board getting into motion. The plottwist in chapter 18 is really bold, and I can just imagine
Jun 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Damn, it's a great time to be a reader of Science Fiction. Authors like Ada Palmer and books like Seven Surrenders make me genuinely excited about SF and where the genre is going.

From the first page in her new novel Ada Palmer continues the story she began in the scintillating Too Like the Lightning, and the two books can be read as one story split into two halves. (I'm guessing they were written as one story, but would be too large if left as one book).

Mycroft Canner, indentured servant, frien
May 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
About halfway through Seven Surrenders, it dawned on me how nearly all the characters we’ve met in Ada Palmer’s Terra Ignota fit neatly into one category or another in the traditional RPG alignment system. I don’t know enough about Palmer to know if this was intentional or not (she is obviously an intellectual, and a history scholar by trade, but who can say what she does in her spare time?) but that is ultimately beside the point. Mycroft Canner, whose perspective on the proceedings is nearly a ...more
Apr 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: review-freebie, scifi
Originally reviewed at Bookwraiths.

My rating is 3.5 stars.

Too Like the Lightning was an ambitious, complex, thought-provoking work of science fiction, one which challenged a reader to brave its intricate futuristic world and rewarded those who did. Ada Palmer’s writing a return to the beautiful, ornate styles of the past; her measured words and nuance meanings contributing mightily to the powerful nature of the book. And Seven Surrenders is on par with its predecessor in every way, continuing th
Jul 25, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2017
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
(In this review, more than ever, you should excuse me from the mistakes that I can make in the use of the English language).

Four and half stars for the two novels.

Of course, this novel deserves a re-reading that right now I will not do. For the moment, since mostly of the open plots of the first book are closed, and therefore in practice the two novels form a quite complete duology, I will read other "things", things of science fiction, of course ;-)

From the absurd to the fascinating, from comed
Rachel (Kalanadi)
Jan 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Full review on Youtube:

I really loved this as much as Too Like the Lightning.
February 2020 Re-read: Combined re-read review of books one and two in spoiler tags. My original review of book one remains below. There aren't actually any spoilers in the re-read review, so feel free to click through. I just wanted to keep the amount of text minimal.

(view spoiler)
Jun 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Seven Surrenders may be more appropriately titled Too Like the Lightning, Part 2, as the whole tome was clearly conceived and written as a single unit (that just so happened to be longer than first-time authors are allowed to get away with). As such, you will feel the same about Seven Surrenders as you did about Too Like the Lightning. My own feeling is that these books offer a unique and interesting, if not quite believable, vision of the future. They’re not exactly page-turning reads, especial ...more
Jo Walton
Dec 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
So amazing. Just... so amazing. It's not often that even the third reading of something leaves me speechless. Read TLTL first or it won't make any sense. But... wow. So amazing. Such intensity, such depth, such beautiful beautiful pacing. ...more
Jul 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was a group read with a few of my SFF book club buddies as a follow up to Too Like the Lightning. I think I was able to glean a lot more from it as a group read and it was interesting to see everyone's different perspectives and take aways on it. If you're considering this book, and have the opportunity to buddy read it- I highly recommend reading it that way!

I know the first book was very polarizing in that readers either enjoyed it or DNF'd or just didn't like it at all. I think if you ma
This world is a utopia, not perfect, not finished, but still a utopia compared to every other era humanity has seen.

I procrastinated on this review by writing other reviews for books I’d read afterwards, purely because I don’t know how to marshal my thoughts together. As with Too Like the Lightning, I am baffled as to how to talk about this series without writing a several thousands-word-long essay. Like its predecessor, it's gloriously ambitious and messy and complicated and thoughtful and
Preeya Phadnis
Mar 08, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
So, I loved Too Like the Lightning. LOVED it. As in, literally counted down the days until Seven Surrenders came out. And then it did...and I read it. This book might be one of the biggest disappointments of my year.

tl;dr: Lots of what made TLtL so good is here. The complexity, the philosophy, Mycroft Canner. Most crucially, SS has the same extrapolation (that feels like unmasking) of current cultural and political trends. Ada Palmer is undeniably brilliant. But nothing new is added in terms of
Apr 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
Again 3.5 stars.

This is really Too Like the Lightning, continued, as it picks up right after TLtL ends, no time wasted. (Most of) the setups are finally paying off. Stuff is going down. Mayhem! Mayhem! So it's worth reading, even if only to learn what came out of all this worldbuilding.

One interesting thing is that the book very much follows in the tradition of 19th century novel - think Dumas (father), think Hugo. There is a lot of similar sensibility (think steady, reasonable people who burst
keikii Eats Books
Aug 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
To read more reviews like this, check out my blog keikii eats books!

93 points, 4 ¾ stars

"I wrote the list but didn't think to pull a stunt like the theft. I wish I did know who it was. I'd congratulate them on a plot well laid, then deck them."

I hated reading the first book, Too Like the Lightning, so much. But after that ending there was no way in hell I could get away with not reading book two. And let me tell you, reader...

I lost my fucking mind reading this.

Don't believe m
Dawn C
Jan 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: loved
This is such an accomplished continuation of the first book, Too Like the Lightning. I’m deeply in awe of Palmer’s way of constructing a narrative unlike anything I’ve ever written. In 2454, Mycroft, the self-proclaimed unreliable storyteller, writes to what he imagines are contemporaries, or perhaps future people, who are interested in the last days leading up to the first war in 300 years. His own role in it is of course at the center of this wildly volumptuous tale full of pathos and melodram ...more
Jan 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Where to begin?
I’m not up to the task of reviewing this masterful, terrible, beautiful, wonderful book. Not seven surrenders, but the full work, which started with Too Like the Lightning.

This story changed me, and it’s a hot sloppy mess of ambition and audacity and hope and doubt and fear and wrestling every step of the way.

I can’t really think about a sequel, though I’m on page 1 already. How can something this whole and this incomplete be followed by something as mundane as a sequel.

I’m gu
Feb 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
I've taken a day to think about this since finishing it and I'm still not quite sure what to make of it.
This is probably in part due to the fact that I listened to this part rather than eye-reading it like the first one. Listening made it a lot harder to follow all the different moving parts in this and to pick up on all the references Palmer has woven into it.

I remain extremely intrigued by her worldbuilding and the ways in which the future politics and moral and ethical questions this book de
Jan 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Like the excitingly eccentric introductory title, Too Like the Lightning before it: unique, ambitious and thoroughly fascinating, with it's various involving topics, and clever narrative form to keep things compelling and leniently open-ended.

Terra Ignota continues to be a wholly engrossing and enjoyable read/listen, and I'm keenly looking forward to continuing with such an exceptional and audacious series.
Kara Babcock
For some reason I thought this book semed way shorter than the first one, but I’m realizing now it’s just that I read Too Like the Lightning in hardcover, so it seemed thicker and more imposing. That being said, Seven Surrenders was less exhausting and easier to digest than the first book. At first I thought that was because I was just used to Ada Palmer’s writing, but now I think it’s also because this book is more focused. Whereas the first book educated us about this future world, Seven Surre ...more
Nick Imrie
Jan 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
I do not ask you to believe, just play-believe, since often things we play-believe in - superstitions, bedtime stories, luck - still make us feel a little better when hard choices come.

The Enlightenment and SF influences on this story are so much fun to find and follow that it took me ages to see the great big anime influence, and of course once I'd seen it I couldn't un-see it. It made this so much more fun to imagine. I swear everytime Sniper came onto the page the visual in my mind was li
May 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing

Too Like the Lightning began a story brilliantly, audaciously, full of subtle complication—and this is that book's ending. (Though the story, I think, is far from over.)
Apr 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
3.5-4 stars.
I'm a bit uncertain on the rating for this in comparison to it's predecessor "Too Like the Lightning" which i gave a confident 4 stars to. Too Like the Lightning was an amazing read for me, it was a fresh take on so much and was full of ambition in it's storytelling. While i was reading it, i was internally giving props to the author at the great job she'd done.

This is not to say that all of that went out of the window with Seven Surrenders though. I just can't seem to pinpoint what
Bridget Mckinney
Mar 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017
Ada Palmer’s Too Like the Lightning was one of my favorite novels of 2016, and it was certainly among the year’s most unusual and ambitiously daring pieces of speculative fiction. Nevertheless, it felt a little unfinished, and anyone who loved it has no doubt been waiting with bated breath for the sequel that seemed necessary to complete what Too Like the Lightning started. Seven Surrenders is everything I thought/hoped it would be, with a vivid setting, intricate plot, high level philosophical ...more
Allison Hurd
Aug 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Hot damn. I haven't binged a book like this since Harry Potter, though this is nothing like that series. It's sort of the "Very Notter," actually. I think it is more in line with Atlas Shrugged, though less tedious.

Content warnings (view spoiler)

Through theology, betrayal, revenge,
Mar 11, 2018 marked it as dnf-lost-interest
OK I finished the ebook preview and this is not happening.
I have so many conflicting feelings about this series because it's so weird and there's nothing similar and it is an experience. It's also really, really disturbing and while that's fine and fun once in a while I'm not interested in reading 3 more books of that.
I'm fine with Too Like the Lightning being a standalone for me at the moment.
Nov 15, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf-fantasy
One paragraph of plot and 389 1/2 pages of talkytalktalktalk. I don’t remember being so disappointed in a sequel before. Maybe the author is trying to channel Proust, I dunno—but for me she squandered any cred or interest in v.3.
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SciFi and Fantasy...: Series: Terra Ignota by Ada Palmer ("Too Like the Lightning") 106 232 Apr 25, 2021 03:16AM  
Fantasy Buddy Reads: Seven Surrenders 7 25 Jul 31, 2017 05:59PM  
World's only Mycroft Canner fan reporting in 1 22 May 27, 2017 10:57PM  

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Terra Ignota (4 books)
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