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3.83  ·  Rating details ·  1,152 ratings  ·  222 reviews

From the bestselling author of the epic Malazan Book of the Fallen, comes a story of mankind's first contact and a warning about our future.

An alien AI has been sent to the solar system as representative of three advanced species. Its mission is to save the Earth's ecosystem - and the biggest threat to that is humanity. But we are also part of the system, so the AI must m

Kindle Edition, 432 pages
Published October 18th 2018 by Gollancz (first published October 2018)
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Average rating 3.83  · 
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 ·  1,152 ratings  ·  222 reviews

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TS Chan
Oct 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc-review-copy
I received an advanced reading copy from the publisher, Gollancz, via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

With Rejoice: A Knife to the Heart, Erikson holds up a mirror for all of humanity.

The Earth, when seen from space, shows no borders.

A First Contact story that examines the path of the human race on Earth, Rejoice nails some very brutal truths about humankind at large; where humanity is heading to and what awaits us in the future without intervention. Once again, Erikson o
Stefan Bach
"If freedom had an ugly side, this was it."

Sloppy, Mr Erikson. Very sloppy.

Now, the idea itself, idea where humanity was faced with a ET Nursery, and the entire world is forced to behave like children in kindergarten, except that from these children all of their favourite toys were taken away and they were forced to play with each other and be good, is amusing. Very amusing, in fact.

But I think there isn't a human being in this world who hadn't spared at least a minute of thought, la
Jan 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Four and half stars

(my apologies for mistreating the English language)

It is my first reading of the author, so I have no preconceived ideas. I know that he is very appreciated for his fantasy works (Malazan) and instead this is a work of science fiction. So, I have heard that some readers/fans are disappointed, but it is not my case, quite the contrary.

What would happen if some aliens intervened the Earth, in the same way that the NU should intervene in case of the poorest countries that suffer
Benji Glaab
Jan 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library

I've read all the Malazan novels aside from Fall of Light, and consider MBOTF to be the pinnacle of modern fantasy. I believe Steven Erikson to be a genius author with the most gifted voice in all of fiction period.

I've lived in Victoria BC for the last 15 years, and have even enjoyed a few coffee from the establishment where a large chunk of MBOTF was written by Eriksons hand. So needless to say when I saw this new Sci-fi work by my favourite author set in my homebase I had no choice but
Nov 14, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is very much "message fiction".

Now, it just so happens I agree with the message being told, for the most part. Unfortunately, that doesn't change the fact that I don't buy a science-fiction novel to read a political screed. I don't mind my sci-fi addressing politics or social injustices, not at all (gimme that Ann Leckie and Rivers Solomon!) but this isn't that. This is a blog rant couched as a novel. The narrative consists almost entirely of two kinds of scene.
A) Thinly veiled caricatures
Twerking To Beethoven
Wow, this sucked serious arse and donkey balls.

All I'm asking when I read fiction is a good story, nothing more, nothing less. I don't want to be lectured about the true values of life according to Erikson, I don't give half a platypus turd about that.

What I got instead was basically this:

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Two stars because it's Erikson, and despite everything, I love the man. Truth is "Rejoice" is actually a steaming pile worth half a star. Fuck this.

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Jul 24, 2018 rated it liked it
Great premise, some wonderful moments and some intriguing characters and fine writing but blimey, despite all of that, I found this book so difficult to finish - it has a message (about whether mankind is a species worth saving and the state of American politics) and it doesn't bear it lightly. I love First Contact stories but this has buried it beneath philosophy and endless discussion. Not one for me although, as I say, it has glimmers of something very special as the aliens' plan is revealed ...more
Marin Bratanov
Oct 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Short version:
A great deconstruction of our society. If you are into thinking about human nature and the way humans interact with one another, read this book. It feels personal and at the same time - generic and all-encompassing. This book isn't about aliens, but about humans. It isn't about first contact, but about our daily contacts with others.

The feelings I got ranged from existential despair to the pure optimism of the golden era of Sci-Fi. Of course, you'll get plenty of Erikson's best - f
Oct 23, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Hmm, no. I like the epic Fantasy a lot, but this style of SF doesn’t work for me from this author. First of all, it’s barely a novel at all. Someone said it’s not a character-driven book, but I’d go one further and say it’s a philosophy class discussion. What would be the consequences of this scenario.

The text is meta and removed and philosophical, but at the same time it reads as very close to our reality. This makes it hard for me to see the characters’ ethics and opinions to be anything other
Jul 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a wonderful surprise this book turned out to be. I have never read Steven Erikson before, and was blissfully unaware of his credentials in the High Fantasy genre (the Malazan Book of the Fallen series, which I might actually give a whirl if Erikson’s world-building is as good as it is here).

This book reminded me immediately of Longer by Michael Blumlein, in that it represents certain facets about SF that I love, and which repel other readers. Both of these are novels of ideas, and in Erikso
Adam Whitehead
Sep 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Canadian science fiction writer is abducted by a UFO from the streets of Victoria, British Columbia. The world shrugs and dismisses it as a social media hoax. Days later, mysterious forcefields start appearing around wilderness areas in danger of human encroachment. Fracking sites are cut off, animal migratory routes disrupted by human civilisation restored and fishing boats are unable to cast their nets. Then people find themselves being forcibly prevented from hurting one another. An Interve ...more
Ah man, this was too short.

I'm sure smarter people than me have received it better than I will here, but I can say that I thoroughly enjoyed this thought experiment. I love Erikson's writing in general, and this didn't disappoint. He write well fleshed out characters with complex motivations that make sense. And he has spent a lot of time thinking about first contact, and a host of implications.

There's so much I want to say here, and things i want to compare it to, but there are just too many
Vasil Kolev
Oct 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The worst thing about this book is that it's not going to happen.

It not as much makes you think (although that's present), but pisses you off and makes you want to change things. I didn't find any inaccuracies in the description of the current world (except the changed names and maybe toned down personalities).
Lenore Kennedy
Mar 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had the amazing opportunity to read this book pre-publication for my podcast. The concept is like nothing else I have ever read--I highly recommend this book! Especially if you are interested in humanity and where we are heading.
Scott  Hitchcock
Jul 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Smart, compassionate and concern over social economic and political issues. So pretty much all the check boxes for SE's works. His depiction of Trump without calling him Trump is entertaining and if anything he understated the meltdown which would be coming if this all actually happened. Climate change, avarice, human trafficking and the general cruelty and indifference of our world forced to change in the blink of an eye.

There are flaws in his plans for this new world order or perhaps he simpl
Sadir Samir
Nov 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
This book demands your attention every single page and forces the reader to ask themselves some very deep questions about humanity and the societies we live in. The themes explored in Rejoice, A Knife to the Heart are very close to my heart and kept me incredibly fascinated all the way through. I'm so glad Erikson wrote this book. He's one helluva brave author.

I really don't enjoy writing reviews but I know how important they are to support authors. Hence my very short reviews.
Oct 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Though Steven is best known for his Epic Fantasy Malazan series, it’s been clear for a while that he’s a genre fan. As well as Epic Fantasy, he has also published Star Trek inspired SF-comedy that fans of The Orville may appreciate, with (I believe) a third book due soon in the US.

And now there’s this: a full-blown, ‘proper’ SF novel that takes one of the genre’s biggest tropes – first contact – and gives it a whole new spin.

The story begins with science fiction author Samantha August being abdu
Jan 11, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
What a truly stunning lack of imagination by an author who seemingly deliberately presents himself – both in avatar form and metatexually – as

boring and smug.

Personally and professionally self-satisfied.

Indulgent in depicting his own elaborate formation of reoccurring cliches and fetishes.

And uninterested in crafting his, undeniably timely I guess – if not terribly fascinating – critique of capitalism into a readable novel.

Erickson seems almost lazy here (not an adjective I ever expected I'd
Michael T Bradley
Well, that's frustrating. This is the first Erikson book I've read that's ever let me down.

At first I had a little difficulty getting into this book, I think simply because of the ... jetlag (?) ... of reading a non-fantasy Erikson story. I kept wondering, "Where is this Canada in relation to Australia, I wonder?" then feeling like an idiot. That passed after 15 minutes or so. Once I got into it, I really enjoyed Stage 1 (of 5) of the alien invas--sorry, INTERVENTION.

The setup is great. Basica
Jan 22, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
DNF at 25%. Writing style is grating, dialog is all Sorkinesque speeches back and forth, and for an earth-shattering event the narrative is remarkably not engrossing. Though I broadly agree with the politics I absolutely could not keep going through the smugness--and I have read some real trash. I read the epilogue and it doesn't seem like I missed much. ...more
Dec 27, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I feel like he tackles his ideas better with fantasy. Just wasnt for working for me.
Bennett Coles
Aug 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've been a big Steven Erikson fan for a long time, and he did not disappoint in this literary tour de force that takes the first realistic look I've ever seen at how an Alien First Contact might REALLY go. This is a thought-provoking read - there are no sizzling action sequences, no breathtaking sudden breakthroughs (no Hollywood, basically) - but there are fascinating character studies and some amazing responses to some big, big questions. As a commentary on the human condition I can think of ...more
Annemieke / A Dance with Books
Thank you to netgalley and the publisher for the review copy in exchange for an honest review

Rejoice, a Knife’s Heart is a sci-fi novel by Erikson. Erikson is probably most known for his Malazan fantasy book series. Books I’ve heard great things about so I was eager to give this book a chance. Unfortunately I struggled a lot with this book.

Sci-fi comes in all shapes in forms. From dystopia to space opera’s. But one other aspect that is often a big part of the genre is the introspectiveness to l
Tim Hicks
Nov 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
This book got off to a good start for me with a key scene located on a block I know well, after living in Victoria for 30+ years. "Up the steps" -- oh, yeah, those steps, right by the cash registers, so the grocery store must be Wellburn's ....

OK, this book needed to be written, it has important ideas, etc. But gosh, it's dull. I'll never read it again. It's unavoidably didactic and philosophical, and I admit Erikson has made it less so than it might have been.

Wouldn't mind an explanation of
Diana Davis
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jay  The Crippled God
ERIKSON always brings it home with an Epic written all over it.

Rejoice is a book with Erikson's view on a future without violence and how if you take that element of the equation, your entire system would change; Social structures, economy, politics, capitalism and so on...
A new type of post-scarcity Communism - all the communism disadvantages.

you take a shape/ pattern of our current world, and a new shape without the violence and enjoy the transformational journey in 5 stages during the book.

Hertzan Chimera
Surely, at some point in its evolution, it was the (short) story of Samantha August, a woman abducted by a UFO and the AI she converses with, before Earth is ;liberated from capitalism'. This bit was great. And the end of the book, when 'personalities clash'.

Personally, I only enjoyed the bits where the AI and August conflab'd... the rest of it felt like the kind of multi-testimony filler that takes a clever short story into novel-length word count. Gollancz themselves must accept the blame for
Jan 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
what did you expect?! it's Steven Erikson.. so of course it is not just good, it is magnificent.. Loved it.. ...more
Dec 03, 2020 rated it liked it
A good essay.
Sep 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library
An SF author and outspoken social media personality is abducted in broad daylight walking down the street in Vancouver BC, by aliens who have come to intervene because humanity are about to single-handedly make a habitable planet uninhabitable. It sounds over the top, the combination of all the things wrong taken at once makes it feel dystopian, but the depiction of the world they are stepping in on is very true to current times. When they step in they begin an intervention protocol that has sev ...more
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Steven Erikson is the pseudonym of Steve Rune Lundin, a Canadian novelist, who was educated and trained as both an archaeologist and anthropologist. His best-known work is the series, the Malazan Book of the Fallen.

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“All things considered, science is the best means of understanding almost everything around us. It works well on the human scale and stands as a stark counter-point to beliefs that by their very nature refute the notion of evidence. And I would be the last person to attack people encouraging the rest of us to use our ability to be rational, thereby defending the value and the necessity of science. But I will lift a querying hand when the notion of ‘science’ is held to be immutable, because ‘science’ as such does not exist. Science is a process to be sure, a way of thinking, but what science is above all is that which scientists do, and alas, scientists are people, too. As potentially fallible, irrational, biased, greedy, in short, as flawed, as the rest of us. So, by all means defend science as a process. But don’t confuse it with the very human endeavor of science as a profession. Because they’re not the same thing. And this is why when some guy in a white lab-coat says ‘you can trust me, I’m a scientist,’ best take it with a big bucket of salt, and then say ‘Fine, now show me the evidence and more to the point, show me how you got to it.” 5 likes
“Look not to our unknown benefactor for salvation. This is humanity’s war upon itself and the only salvation possible must be found in the eyes of our brother, our sister, our neighbor. Do find the courage, my beloved friend, to meet that gaze.” 2 likes
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