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Seven Surrenders

(Terra Ignota #2)

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  2,902 ratings  ·  386 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 ecu
Kindle Edition, 366 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!
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4.19  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,902 ratings  ·  386 reviews

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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
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
Jun 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Rachel (Kalanadi)
Full review on Youtube:

I really loved this as much as Too Like the Lightning.
Jul 25, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Just as a heads up, I will be calling the police at the end of this review to report a crime, because this book and its author tried to murder me. Does anyone know the legislation about this? Can I have a book arrested for assault?

Okay, but seriously, this book is a monster. There were several points where I nearly threw it across the room, I was so upset. And then I kept going and almost immediately it became clear why Palmer did that monstrous thing that I hated and that made me want to go to
Preeya Phadnis
Mar 08, 2017 rated it it was ok
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  ·  review of another edition
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
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 bi
Jan 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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
Nick Imrie
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 like
Apr 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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
May 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

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.)
Mar 11, 2018 marked it as dnf-lost-interest  ·  review of another edition
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.
Allison Hurd
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 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sff
For a book like this, the goodreads review box asking “What did you think?” seems like a taunt. I thought a lot, goodreads review box! I thought so many things! And ... wow, most of it is hard to put into words in this little box. One of my friends said, in her review of this book, that she’s still processing the gender stuff. So am I, but in a larger sense, that’s what I’m doing to all of this book, which is really just the second half of Too Like the Lightning: still processing. I get the sens ...more
Mar 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A literary particle accelerator.

Magnificent. She builds a world of seeming alien perfection in the first book, only to smash it all apart to reveal the human guts of the machine against the walls.
"If you lived through it, you must remember vividly when you first heard that number, where you were—out shopping, sharing dinner—who first told you, what the wind smelled like. Tens of thousands of days fade into memory's melting pot, but not the day Death first took someone you loved, not that day. If, on the other hand, you join me from remote posterity, then the picture must be altogether different. Two thousand, two hundred and four: in the coldness of a history book it must seem like nothi ...more
Okay soooo, this book series is pretentious but oh my, I wouldn't have it any other way.

I don't know how Palmer came up with those bloody brilliant and utterly crazy ideas but I'm here for the ride and enjoying every second of it. I was scared the second book wouldn't live up to Too Like the Lightning but, if I might say so myself, it's even better because things actually happens in this one. I am glad I have an Arc of The Will to Battle that I will look forward reading early 2018.

Is everyone go
Nov 15, 2017 rated it did not like it
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.
Paul  Perry
The second instalment of Palmer's Terra Ignota series continues the tale told by Mycroft Canner, the reformed criminal at the nexus of the power elites of this 25th century world. The theological - and downright magical - aspects that had appeared in Too Like The Lightning become markedly stronger, an I'm not sure that I should any more class this as science fiction, although I find the distinction unimportant, as this is very much a philosophical novel, and still utterly wonderful.

The author de
Aug 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
4.5 Stars

"Only Utopia thinks the future is more important than the present, that there are worlds that we could make which are worth destroying the one we have here."

This book, this book... It's almost impossible to rate for me. Is it four stars because it's so hard, so dense and not a facile read (no breezing through this book, readers, and the change of audio narrator was maddening although that criticism is unfair because Ada Palmer probably has zero control over anything to do with the audi
Dec 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A large portion of Too Like The Lightning was devoted to worldbuilding, introducing characters, and explaining to context of the events to the reader. Having already done so, Ada Palmer wastes no time in Seven Surrenders delaying developments, and the whole book is a plunge forward into catastrophe as secrets are revealed, people are unmasked and dozens of separate plots come to fruition.

Without writing a review filled with spoilers--which I may come back to do eventually--there isn't a lot of d
Stevie Kincade
Re read as an audiobook this time RTC
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SciFi and Fantasy...: Seven Surrenders *Mark spoilers* 84 103 Mar 03, 2018 05:27PM  
Fantasy Buddy Reads: Seven Surrenders 7 22 Jul 31, 2017 05:59PM  
World's only Mycroft Canner fan reporting in 1 15 May 27, 2017 10:57PM  
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Terra Ignota (4 books)
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“Oh, miraculous chameleon, science, who can reverse your doctrine hourly and never shake our faith! What cult ever battered by this world of doubt can help but envy you?” 5 likes
“The great breakthrough of our age is supposed to be that we measure success by happiness, admiring a man for how much he enjoyed his life, rather than how much wealth or fame he hoarded, that old race with no finish line. Diogenes with his barrel and his sunlight lived every hour of his life content, while Alexander fought and bled, mourned friends, faced enemies, and died unsatisfied. Diogenes is greater. Or does that past-tainted inner part of you—the part that still parses ‘thee’ and ‘thou’ and ‘he’ and ‘she’—still think that happiness alone is not achievement without legacy? Diogenes has a legacy. Diogenes ruled nothing, wrote nothing, taught nothing except by the example of his life to passersby, but, so impressed were those bypassers, that, after the better part of three millennia, we still know this about him.” 5 likes
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