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(Spin Saga #2)

3.51  ·  Rating details ·  7,696 ratings  ·  499 reviews
Wildly praised by readers and critics alike, Robert Charles Wilson's Spin won science fiction's highest honor, the Hugo Award for Best Novel.

Now, in Axis, Spin's direct sequel, Wilson takes us to the "world next door"—the planet engineered by the mysterious Hypotheticals to support human life, and connected to Earth by way of the Arch that towers hundreds of miles over the
Mass Market Paperback, 355 pages
Published June 3rd 2008 by Tor Science Fiction (first published September 18th 2007)
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Average rating 3.51  · 
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 ·  7,696 ratings  ·  499 reviews

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Apr 13, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Axis is entertaining and expands on Spin's novel idea, but seems incomplete. By the time it really starts to pickup and get interesting, it ends rather abrubtly. It doesn't exactly leave at a cliffhanger but it doesn't exactly answer all of my questions either. Good thing wikipedia shows a sequel in the works, Vortex, so I know we'll still have more to look forward to.

As always, Wilson writes good characters. The main character, Lise, actually seemed a tad underdeveloped, but her companion Turk
Axis continues 30 years after the events in Spin. This time, the narration is in third person and we mainly follow different characters, although some of the ones from Spin are making an appearance, one way or the other.

While I can’t say I rooted much for them, the world building on the new world is something I will chew upon a long time from now on: eerie is the closest word I found for what the Hypotheticals are doing here.

However, something is missing on the whole. RCW never provides a strai
Jun 24, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone who enjoyed Spin
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Melody Sams
Dec 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Axis is the sequel to Spin, the second book in a trilogy. If you haven't read Spin, and want to read it unspoiled in the future, don't even think about reading my review or any reviews about Axis. Don't ruin your experience of Spin -- it's so, so good on its own.

Otherwise, if you've already read Spin or Axis, or have no intention of reading them, feel free to continue...

The vast differences between Spin and Axis make the sequel hard to digest and hard to rate. It has a different struc
May 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
I loved Spin. In that giddy new love have to rush out and buy every book by the author way. I was nervous that my second opinion wouldn't hold up to my first. Well, it did and didn't.

New characters. New planet. New mysteries. And for the most part it is interesting. Just not on the same scale of the first. This one seems smaller. In scope. And in content. It just doesn't seem like a lot happens until the end. And then things happen a little too fast.

So, I liked it. I highly recommend the first b
Jul 17, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
A very disappointing sequel to Spin, Axis is mostly an explanation of who the Hypotheticals are. The characters are uninteresting and flat, as is the ending. The only redeeming quality is Wilson's writing itself. As usual, it's of a very high caliber. ...more
Mar 01, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
I noticed this book received very mixed reviews, most of them not very complimentary. I’ve read most of Robert Charles Wilson’s books, and enjoyed them to one degree or another, so it was with a bit of trepidation that I started this one.
I found I enjoyed this one as much as I liked the others. To quote the blurb at the back of the book, the premise of the story is in the post-Spin world, the planet “next door” was engineered by the mysterious Hypotheticals to support human life, and connected
Alex Telander
Dec 19, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Robert Charles Wilson’s sequel to the Hugo Award winning Spin, Axis, does what not a lot of sequels do: it continues readers on this most unique story, but with a whole new world and cast of characters that helps to give everything a new pristine look, as if one were reading a individual, stand-alone novel, and not a sequel.

The god-like beings known as the Hypotheticals are doing what they do best: messing with the ways of the cosmos. In Axis, the reader travels through the giant arch gate locat
Aug 04, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
I don't not like this book, but it's no Spin.

I agree with the other reviewers about this book: it's really less sci-fi and more about a spiritual journey; it hangs out in the realm of vague, even mystical speculation; it's a bridge between Spin and Vortex and reads like it.

The last item - about the book being a bridge - may be its most redeeming assessment. The book has a very transitional feel. The plot involves constant motion/travel almost exclusively in one dedicated direction (east to wes
Axis is set approximately 30 years after the conclusion of the first book in the series, Spin, and takes place on the world set up by the Hypothetical at the end of that book. We start the story with a boy, a boy who is in some way we don't yet know special. Martian and Earth relations have gone south in a somehow uninteresting way, and while the author brings up again the lack of resources and destruction of the planet, there are no real concrete examples to demonstrate that, other than certain ...more
This Is Not The Michael You're Looking For
Spin took an epic hard science fiction concept then focused on the human reaction, leading to a very approachable and enjoyable book. Axis, the sequel, fails in every way that Spin succeeded. The story is small, the characters are flat and uninteresting, the setting was remarkably stale. The timeline also seemed questionable in relation to the previous book, although I may have simply misread or misunderstood when this story is supposed to take place. Overall, one of the more disappointing seque ...more
Florin Constantinescu
Book #1 of this series, "Spin" was so very cool it was inevitable that any sequel was going to be a little of a letdown.
Well, this is more than a "little" letdown. It's still a pretty cool novel in itself, but the magic of "Spin" is lost here.

The action being moved to a remote planet instead of Earth this time, following a group of mostly uninteresting characters, and taking the plot sideways instead of forwards to an "absolute" resolution, I found this to be harder to read. I didn't care as muc
Axis is as well written as spin was, but unfortunately it lives off the ideas already introduced in spin. Nothing new is added to the mix. Alas if possible something is taken away, because characters in axis are more 2-dimensional and it's more difficult to empathize with them. it's a shame because I had high expectations for this novel :-( ...more
Jordan Petersen
A nice follow up to Spin

While it wasn’t as breathtaking and awe inspiring as it’s predecessor, Axis effectively builds on the universe the first book established. And it does so with compelling, dynamic characters who you won’t mind spending the story with. And as ever, Wilson’s prose is a match for the grand ideas he’s exploring.
Oct 24, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bought, kindle, sci-fi
He's still not giving anything away about what the Hypotheticals motives might be, this series is just one big wait and see! And yet, I quite like being blindly taken along for the ride with the failible and fleshed out characters blowing from here to there on the whim of these vast but not entirely benign intelligences. These are truly inscrutable aliens and their timescales and ours may never see eye to eye.

I'm certainly ready to dive into book three to see if my continued curiosity is rewarde
Jan 07, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who like character-driven soft SF
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Darin Ramsey
May 13, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: modern-sf
This book reminds me, in unfortunate ways, of Greg Bear's Eternity. I really enjoyed Eon, and was happy about there being a sequel... which then had almost nothing connected to the first book. Axis eventually drops in a couple of lines to let you know what happened to Tyler and Diane after Spin, but we're pretty much meeting people utterly unconnected to that first book.
This is a problem for me because it's very difficult to do well. The Foundation Trilogy manages to skip like a stone across the
Jun 15, 2008 rated it really liked it
Putting down Spin I swore I wouldn't read this one. Spin was compelling up until the end, when it got weird. Still, I really have liked Robert Charles Wilson's other books, so, I picked this one up.

And you know what? It was pretty good.

The entire book takes place on the planet that's "connected" to Earth by the strange Arch in the Indian Ocean that appears at the end of Spin. For the most part, a new set of characters -- lost, a little bit broken, and looking for some kind of personal redemptio
Feb 15, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
While technically a sequel to Spin, it's only a sequel in the sense that is takes place after Spin in the same universe. It doesn't follow the characters of Spin, except one who was fairly minor and then only peripherally.

The story lacks the cool ideas of Spin, and it seems like this book was written purely to set up the next in the series. Very little is resolved. The storytelling suffers from the switch to third person POV. And Wilson still over-utilizes time-jumping and flashbacks, except now
Jeff Raymond
So Axis is the sequel/companion to Spin, and Spin is basically regarded as a brilliant science fiction tale. Axis, while in the same universe, ends up feeling more like an add on than a solid expansion of the story.

The book basically takes place on Mars, created by the same aliens who put a shell around the Earth. Part mystery and part excuse to come back to the story, we get more mysterious happenings from the alien race along the way.

I read this a few weeks ago before writing this, and it's st
Oct 12, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
A good novel in and by itself, but a bit of a letdown from the first of the series. The novelty of Spin does not necessarily carry over in the second volume. It is interesting, but does not add much to Spin. Will read the third one some time in the future to kinda close the topic on it :-)
Jan 22, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
As with most reviews of books that form a part of a series, I inevitably compare them with each other. As you can tell from the rating, this book did worse than the first instalment, but even if I didn't have that benchmark, this would still have been a disappointing read. And while I enjoyed Spin, the first book in this series, I definitely didn't have unreasonably high expectations for this sequel. Unfortunately, this book failed to live up to the standards set in Spin, let alone improve on it ...more
Feb 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh boy was this book a nice surprise, especially after so many lukewarm reviews! I really put off reading it for a long time, because I was afraid I'd be disappointed. Spin definitely earned its Hugo because Robert Charles Wilson pulled off the near impossible with his great ending. Stephen King has said something to the effect that once you show the monster in the closet, it's all over; your readers aren't going to be scared any more. This is so true - so many endings just don't live up to the ...more
Robert Charles Wilson's Spin (which I wrote about a while ago) is a wonderful book, one I recommend regularly; Axis, the follow-up to Spin, is not so wonderful.

Axis is far from a bad book. It is entertaining and includes some well-crafted scenes, some focusing on the characters and some on the scenery of a new world or on the results of the general weirdness that goes on (to say more would be to give away too much, I think). But the philosophical weight and character-driven focus of Spin is mis
Jul 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the third book I've read by Robert Charles Wilson, and I think it might be my favorite. I've always thought of Wilson as a very original and intelligent storyteller. If he had any weaknesses typically they were in character development and the overuse of certain tropes. Neither of those were true of this book. Characters were unique and well-developed. No character was good and none evil. (Well, the Genomic Society goons probably fit the profile of villain, but they were relatively minor ...more
Jun 28, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I picked up Axis right after it was published because I remembered being frustrated with the somewhat open ending of Spin. The fact that it didn't draw me in like Spin did should have clued me in that this is a very different book.

I didn't finish it that first time, and I only picked it up again now that the third book in the trilogy is coming out (and after reading Spin again to refresh all the forgotten details.) All I can say is I was exhilarated reading Spin again, and terribly deflated read
Jul 17, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was a decent middle book of a trilogy that added depth to the events in the new world after Spin had completed. It did seem to drag and devotes significant time to subplots that have impact on the characters that adds dimension, but didn't have much impact on the story arc.

It delves into the characterization very well like Spin did, but it seems to do so at the detriment of the greater story. Lise's story seems like this complex mystery that should be a central thread to the story, but drops
Ármin Scipiades
As others have pointed out, this is no Spin. I'm actually happy it isn't a copy of Spin, that's really commendable, using such different narrative techniques for a sequel. Unfortunately, that's about all I can say about the positives. Axis is a disappointing sequel, really kind of mediocre, with tons of problems:

- it read more like an overlong short story.
- Equatoria, that world with a terrific premise, isn't really fleshed out, if at all. The small scraps of information we do get are fun, but t
Mar 26, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Spin was a tough act to follow, but this was pretty good. Axis is set on a planet created by the Hypotheticals, located between the Earth and Mars, and connected to Earth by way of an arch that extends hundreds of miles over the Indian Ocean.

Some of the most important things that happen are in the background here (until the very end). That would be fine except that what we get in between the major events is a little bit bland. As far as the characters go, I liked Isaac and Rebka but some of the
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I've been writing science fiction professionally since my first novel A Hidden Place was published in 1986. My books include Darwinia, Blind Lake, and the Hugo Award-winning Spin. My newest novel is The Affinities (April 2015). ...more

Other books in the series

Spin Saga (3 books)
  • Spin (Spin, #1)
  • Vortex (Spin, #3)

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