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The Rig

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  778 ratings  ·  129 reviews
Humanity has spread across the depths of space but is connected by AfterLife—a vote made by every member of humanity on the worth of a life. Bale, a disillusioned policeman on the planet Bleak, is brutally attacked, leading writer Raisa on to a story spanning centuries of corruption. On Gehenna, the last religious planet, a hyperintelligent boy, Alef, meets psychopath Pell ...more
Paperback, 618 pages
Published May 8th 2018 by Titan Books
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Average rating 3.78  · 
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 ·  778 ratings  ·  129 reviews

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Seregil of Rhiminee
Jun 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Originally published at Risingshadow.

Roger Levy's The Rig is one of the finest British science fiction novels ever published. This outstanding novel is way above average science fiction, because the story gradually develops from an intriguing premise into a fascinating tale filled with complexity, weirdness and thought-provoking elements that make readers hold their breath in wonder. This novel was very much to my liking, because it's boldly different and wholly original.

To be honest, this novel
Liz Barnsley
Dec 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Blew my mind. Loved it. Completely bats*** crazy but utterly compelling. Full review to follow. I can't write one now I'm shattered.

*cue mad book buying spree of author's previous books*
David Harris
May 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I'm grateful to Titan for an advance copy of this book.

How to sum up The Rig? The Godfather in space, but more tricksy? A SPACE noir? The apotheosis of social media?

None of those are quite right - but they all have a bit of truth.

In the future, Earth is abandoned to ecological catastrophe and humanity has migrated to the System to live on terraformed worlds. It's a hard life (one of those planets is simply called 'Bleak' and it lives up to that) and a short one, fifty being a good age. Contradic
The opening chapter of this book was amazing and would have made a stunning short story on its own. Then the rest of the book happened. It is clear that that Levy is attempting to write a story full of big ideas which he mostly succeeds at doing. Unfortunately the story itself is plodding, juvenile and populated with characters that are largely unsympathetic. By half way through the book, I was bored and ended up reading two other books before finely finishing this one up. Honestly, I'm not sure ...more
4,8 stars

This is the best book I've read so far in 2019 and I have no idea how I'm supposed to write a review for it. Maybe I'll take the coward's way out and go with a simple list:

- I loved the writing, which was vivid yet easy to read
- The book throws you into the deep end and expects you to either sink or swim with absolutely no flotation devices
- The world is imaginative, original, and a little bit scifi noir (is that a thing?)
- The characters feel real, even though most of them are extreme
Jun 07, 2018 rated it did not like it
"puter" & "putering" instead of computer & computing? And i'm out! ...more
Rhiannon Mills
May 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Strange Horizons has called Roger Levy the ‘heir to Philip K. Dick.’ That’s a pretty tall order for an author to live up to, eh? I typically dislike when two authors are compared to each other because I rarely see enough similarities to even recognize that a comparison has been made. Well, as it happens, it’s not far from truth. I found Roger Levy’s writing style to be refreshingly gloomy, blunt, and to the point. I believe the comparison to Philip K. Dick to be right on the money.
The premise of
May 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Before I start my review, let me note that I received an uncorrected bound proof of this book from Titan Books. However, all opinions contained herein are my own.

At 615 pages, this is not a book to dive into lightly. While I occasionally found myself "rooting for" one or another of the characters, all are pretty flawed. None are wholly likable, but there are books where that happens, and it's never been a deal-breaker for me.

The book starts slowly, establishing the friendship between the two mai
Maria Maier
Jun 05, 2018 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: titan
It's been quite a while since I've taken this long to read a book (four days, to be precise, which is a total humble brag given that I've read 72 books in the past 4 months and 11 days.) Granted, The Rig clocks in at over 600 pages and since I had it in paperback -- the better to enjoy that gorgeous cover -- it was harder to binge read in the dark as I do with ebooks on my Paperwhite before I go to sleep. But ooh, what an intelligent, layered 600+ pages! Imagine a far future where humanity has a ...more
Apr 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
An epic standalone sci fi. If you are expecting fast paced and action packed think again. This story has a meandering pace that slowly builds to an eye opening, mind bending twist. This book is all about the build up, character building and world building. Based in a future where the earth is longer habitable and has to spread to new planets which have been terraformed.

There are a lot of different themes and ideas going on in this, including the idea of religion or the lack of it, social media
May 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a.....complex book. There was so much going on so much of the time that I often felt as if I were missing something. I could see a way in which the two storylines could converge and they did, in the end converge quite nicely but I was often unsure as to whether or not I was correct in what I was thinking. Not that this is a bad thing. I enjoy books that can keep me guessing and this one definitely did with the way it kept switching between the murder mystery on a far off space rock plan ...more
Nov 24, 2018 rated it liked it
Liked but didn't love. A lot of the elements of this book are ones I'm really keen on: all of the sci-fi tropes flashed around, the interleaving narrative strands etc etc. But the big failing of the book (in my opinion) is the Rig itself. The central image which the book takes its title and cover image from simply doesn't really make much sense. Why on earth would you throw suspended animation caskets of nearly dead people into the sea (which has some strange properties never fully explored) lik ...more
Oct 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is such a clever book. Almost impossible to write anything without spoilers but I thoroughly recommend it. Science fiction is not my normal genre but this has brilliant characters and such a twisting plot that all comes together in a way that was perfectly plotted and not at all obvious. Maybe I should read more science fiction.
Aug 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
A very solid four - probably four and a half... Epochal in nature, a multi-threaded storyline that pulls you in. Excellent writing, engaging and exciting with some shocks along the way (OK, I guessed a few of them...) Will certainly search out more books by Roger Levy!
Peter Tillman
Paul di Filippo recommends it, at Locus:

"the white-hot core of the book is a kind of Jacobean revenge drama played out between Drame and Ligate, along with a metaphysical Faustian quest undertaken by Pellonhorc, for which he brutally enlists Alef and his skills. The emotional wattage of this electrifying melodrama is very intense, especially in the first-person narrative by Alef. The portrait that develops of this almost Ender’s Game-style hero–a youth who
Marc Jentzsch
Feb 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
As an exercise in social deconstruction, The Rig works.

It is hard to talk about The Rig with any amount of detail that does not function as a spoiler. Even its themes are there to be sussed out by the reader, though it does not go to great lengths to hide them. But it is an open question, like a deconstructive dream given narrative structure and populated with characters, a question that we all ask ourselves in one form or other. It looks deep into our fears and anxieties and shows us that there
Craig Gordon
Oct 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
I'd never heard of Roger Levy before but I was drawn in by the captivating cover and the intriguing blurb. And fortunately the story itself was as spectacular as the artwork.

Levy plays a masterstroke in delivering a thoroughly engrossing space opera that avoids any mention of spaceships and instead concentrates on the interplay between powerful families.
The story unravels in such a way that maintains a momentum of raising and answering questions about what is going on that kept me tapping away
Kirsty Bassett
Aug 06, 2018 rated it did not like it
DNF at p195 - kept thinking it woule get better, and wondering how the two separate storylines would merge kept me going that far. But nothings happened and im stil baffled as to what is going on.

Not worth the read and i just dont get how this has got so many good reviews
Damon Rycroft
Nov 25, 2018 rated it it was ok
It’s overly convoluted and none of the characters are interesting enough that you care about them, the twist is boring and the ending seems like a rushed scrabble to put everything together without it making much sense character wise
Sep 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf
The strongest points of this book for me are the sequences where some sentences turn incredibly dark or twisted, and you never really see them coming. Those twists mostly had to do with worldbuilding, details about the state and history of the 'verse that added depth and tragedy to the overall themes and story. I really liked that. I'm not 100% happy with the way the ending played out and how it was written, which is why this is "only" a 4 star read for me, but it was still reading time well spe ...more
Craig Dickson
Jun 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was excellent, really gripping thriller-style sci-fi, a fascinating world, page-turning plot and several "whoa WTF!?" moments (in a good way).

I really enjoyed the novel, and I'll definitely check out Roger Levy's other books at some point. I found the combination of futuristic world-building and thriller / mystery style plotting to be really effective, and very well handled. I would definitely recommend this if you enjoy sci-fi and like to be thrilled.

As I was reading this I thought I'd hav
Trigger warnings: death, animal death, violence, murder, blood, vomit.

DNF on page 194.

There are a lot of rave reviews for this book, and I do not understand a single solitary one of them. Because this book was indescribably dry and dull. There was, like, one storyline that I gave half a fuck about and the rest of them I found myself skimming through in order to get back to that one.

Maybe if it wasn't the end of the year and I weren't trying to finish goals that I've set for myself, I'd have pe
Liam Ward
Mar 31, 2020 rated it it was ok
I can see why this book was abandoned by one publisher and rebranded and sold at a lower price by another: it’s dead in the water.
I liked the writing style, I loved the font, I was interested in the story to begin with but it became an enormous flop.

- There was almost no description of anything. The author gave a basic and brief summary of where they were and what they were doing but trying to summon a world from this was like slamming into a thick sheet of ice and getting nowhere. There was no
Mar 22, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
The author has an excellent imagination, and has created a vast world that full of surprises. However, he has a little trouble stitching together a perfectly coherent plot. Still, worth reading for4 the originality.
Matt Elliston
Sep 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Slow to start, but was pretty gripping towards the end.
Kate (Looking Glass Reads)
Jun 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
This book took a little longer than I thought it would, partially because it’s a whopping 615 pages long. The Rig by Roger Levy kept me hooked for every single page, though. Even as the days begin to turn to weeks since I’ve finished it the story has stayed with me, and I find myself thinking about it more as time goes on. It’s been some time since a book has stayed with me in quite this way, and I think I might have found a new favorite.

While this is most definitely a science fiction novel that
Sep 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Review originally posted at Thoughts Stained With Ink:

**Thanks to Titan for the ARC, given in exchange for an honest review**

The Rig by Roger Levy was one of the first books I ever received as an ARC. I hadn’t heard of it before Titan was kind enough to ask if I’d like to review a copy, but it definitely intrigued me. The cover especially, with it’s gorgeous colors and I’d argue almost minimalist design. Then, of course, life got in the way and weeks turn
Natalie Portmanteau
Mar 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Wow, what a journey. Perhaps a tad longer than it needed to be but I still find myself missing the characters which seems like a good grade. Can't wait to read his other stuff.
Jan 20, 2019 rated it liked it
The Rig by Roger Levy is a science fiction novel set in the future where Earth has been abandoned and faith/religion has been extinct and no longer practiced. In a society such as this, how will people take to the idea of being resurrected after having been in stasis for years based on a voting system? How will one live their lives knowing that this could happen to them and that one day, their life story will be known to all who participates in the system? The Rig pretty much ticks every checkbo ...more
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I live in London. I'm married with two children. My third novel, Icarus, was shortlisted for BSFA best novel of 2007. My latest, The Rig, is published by Titan.
My other interests include photography and jazz. As I'm red/green colourblind, I especially love black & white photography, and jazzwise, I naturally like the blues. I especially love the cover of The Rig, not just because it’s a thing of b

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