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Axis (Spin Saga #2)

3.49  ·  Rating details ·  6,124 Ratings  ·  414 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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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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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 :-)
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.
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
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
Jens Walter
Jun 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Der zweite Teil der Spin-Saga "Axis" konnte mich nicht ganz so sehr begeistern, wie der Vorgänger. Obwohl beide sehr ähnlich aufgebaut sind - es dauert recht lange, bis es zur eigentlichen Geschichte kommt, und die wirklichen Fragen werden erst auf den letzten Seiten und fast ein wenig zu kurz beantwortet -, blieb diesmal alles etwas blass. Die Charaktere waren etwas fader und die Nebenfiguren bisweilen sogar lieblos und stereotyp. Dadurch fehlte ein wichtiger Motivator des ersten Bandes.

Der tec
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
Fantasy Literature
Earth has now been surrounded by the mysterious spin barrier that slows time relative to the rest of the universe for decades. Extra-terrestrial forces have also built the Arch that connects Earth to a series of unknown and increasingly environmentally hostile worlds. Humanity is now colonizing the first new world, but they still wonder about what beings — the Hypotheticals — could have created the spin barriers around these planets, not to mention the arches that connect them.

There are intergal
May 16, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
I enjoyed Spin, the prequel of this book, and I was looking forward to read Axis. The story is interesting. It picks up the storyline 30 years after Spin ends, and it is about the alien race who caused Earth's spinning. Scientists try to establish a connection by altering the DNA of a child, who - according to the hopes of the scientists - would be able to "speek" with them.

While the idea is compelling, I was disappointed at the end. I felt the book unfinished. The whole purpose of the story was
Jan 02, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
More of a 3.5 stars, I enjoyed it but not quite as much as the first.

He goes farther into crazy, and that makes sense given the end of the last book, but sometimes it was hard for me to agree with his outcomes. It certainly was imaginative.

The characters were decent, and over all it was an enjoyable read. I also was looking forward to an extension of the last characters but this book starts new.
May 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
i really loved this book, loved the way it was written, and i loved that the audio version of the trilogy is narrated by the always incredible scott brick. a lot of reviews said that this book left a lot of questions unanswered, but i think these books are all about people searching for answers that don't exist, trying to force their own views of reality and the hypotheticals on the world around them. beautiful and sad.
Heidi Draffin
This middle piece of an interesting and really well written trilogy is its weakest link, perhaps because the story is heading toward the final book and really didn't need to be separated from it. I've seen some really brutal reviews that seriously exaggerate the books flaws. There could have been more character development but the story is still interesting and compelling.
Dec 21, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another interesting book by R.C. Wilson ; however the story is less thrilling that the previous one (Spin) and the end is (imho) not really an end (I think that there will be a third episod in the Hypotheticals series).

I must say that I like Wilson's style very much, and that when he tells a story, it's very difficult to put the book down, even for a few minutes...
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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 about Robert Charles Wilson...

Other Books in the Series

Spin Saga (3 books)
  • Spin (Spin, #1)
  • Vortex (Spin, #3)
“What we cannot remember, we must rediscover.” 0 likes
“[A]ll the...people who visited me out of a sense of duty, who were relentlessly sympathetic and secretly indifferent.” 0 likes
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