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Nexus: Ascension

3.42  ·  Rating details ·  144 ratings  ·  23 reviews
After returning from a thirty-year trade mission, the crew of the Ea wake from cryonic suspension to find that their home world, Bh'Haret, is dead.

'Screamer' satellites have been strung around their planet warning of a plague. A scan of the surface of Bh'Haret reveals no trace of human life - only crumbling cities.

Their fuel and other supplies nearly exhausted, the crew
Paperback, 350 pages
Published August 15th 2010 by ChiZine Publications (first published January 1st 2010)
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Average rating 3.42  · 
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 ·  144 ratings  ·  23 reviews

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Oct 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of sci-fi, epic fiction
Recommended to Katy by: netGallery
Please note: This book read and reviewed Oct. 2011; updating the review to add disclosure.

Disclosure: I received a free egalley edition of this book from ChiZine via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

My Synopsis: Returning from a 30-year long-haul mission, the crew of the Ea come out of stasis to discover their world – Bh’Harat – dead, and screamer satellites strung around it to warn any potential visitors away – saying “hazard plague hazard plague hazard plague” over and over. Left wit
Feb 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Alastair Reynolds or Peter Watts
Bleak. Bleak, bleak, bleak. This book is like being repeatedly hit in the face with a giant hammer which has "bleak" stamped all over it. But although you may want to kill yourself once you've read it, it also happens to be a gripping dark sci-fi debut novel.

From the blurb I assumed this book would be straight-forward horror, but it really isn't. It's rather a hybrid of different styles. I would consider it 20% post-apocalyptic sci-fi, 20% survival novel, 20% revenge story, 20% psychological hor
Mar 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: scifi
This is a book of relatively grim hard science fiction set in a universe where humanity inhabits hundreds or thousands of solar systems. Most of these systems and the most advanced belong to a confederation called Nexus that seeks to expand its influence by inviting planets that are not yet its members to join it. Nexus has a big carrot to offer: technology that is way more advanced than in any non-member worlds. Nexus is so advanced technologically because it holds a trump card nobody else has, ...more
Remigijus Jodelis
Feb 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Quite good hard sci-fi if you're willing to overlook some weak points. I was looking for something similar in style to Alastair Reynolds' books (meaning noir/gothic atmosphere and sociopathic characters) and this fits the bill quite nicely. After reading the slow-going first half I was going to give it 3 stars, but the second half was an improvement with lots of action and plot twists. I look forward to a sequel in this universe. ...more
Emily Park
Oct 09, 2011 rated it really liked it

This review is of a digital copy provided to me by the publisher via NetGalley.

Nexus: Ascension begins with a crew on the long-haul spaceship Ea waking up from cryonic suspension as they approach their home planet Bh'Haret after thirty years away. They find that the planet is surrounded by warning satellites, which broadcast the warning "hazard plague hazard plague hazard plague..." over and over again; scans of the planet make it clear that there is no hu
Aug 13, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I think this book would make a great movie for two reasons. One, the plot and its requisite twists are perfect summer blockbuster fodder - tightly wound enough to keep the audience engaged, not so labyrinthine as to put anyone off. Two, they'd have to cut out all of the torturously long narrative passages wherein nothing happens. At some point one of the characters - who Boyczuk treated as ancillary for the first half of the book and then to whom he later gave specific narrative focus leading me ...more
Mar 19, 2011 rated it liked it
The Facilitator’s eyes flickered and he stared off into the middle distance, accessing data. “The plague begins with a light fever. After a brief remission, a more debilitating fever occurs some forty-eight hours later, as the virus spreads to the liver and spleen, enlarging them and accelerating the filtering and phagocytic activities into a hyperactive state. Red blood cells are destroyed indiscriminately. Jaundice appears. Then the victim experiences intense abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhoea ...more
Jul 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Although I love science fiction film making, I don't really like to read hard sci fi because I just don't appreciate the tropes and conventions of the genre as it's written. To me (and there are definite exceptions) it feels often like too much description, not enough characterization. This book, on the other hand, had me riveted. The characters have decent motivation and a rational response to the challenges of their situation. The setting is like a Ridley Scott space-thriller combined with the ...more
Apr 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book is slow. How slow? Robert Boyczuk took his sweet ass time moving his characters from place to places. Some oughta hate this book just for this but I personally finds it delightful. I love the atmospheric post-apocalyptic exploration segment because there is setting, an abandoned underground cryo facility. I despise the dragged out strut through ice planet that took like one fourth of the book and is nothing much more than Liis [female protagonist] brooding about her broken arm.

Sav angs
Brian Gaston
Nov 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
A good old science fiction novel. You don't see many of these anymore. ...more
John G
Dec 15, 2014 rated it did not like it
Well, the concept was interesting. It had a nice cover too. I got a discounted copy from the publisher this summer and hoped it was as good as Major Karnage which I also got then. Alas, it wasn't. I was okay with the slow pace and dour characters until the very end when the vague and confusing descriptions of the internals of the Speaker's Dome became too much to forgive. I don't like to dismiss a book because it is repulsive, sad or depressing and those are not the reasons I rated it so low. I ...more
Michael Drakich
Feb 04, 2014 rated it liked it
Some positives, some things not so. Some spoilers in this review. I picked up this book at my local Chapters bookstore so had no pre-conceived notions on what to expect as I had read no ratings or reviews. There were a number of things that I, as a science fiction fan, enjoy in the genre - technical details, impressive use of the English language with words most people would have to run for a dictionary to understand, and unique alien settings - all things I love in scifi. The trouble was, for t ...more
Sarah Maddaford
This book started off with a lot of space travel jargon and several scenes included more jargon that served only to interrupt the plot. In some spots, it felt like the author was actively attempting to confuse the reader (which go figure he succeeded), but readers don't tend to like being confused. In others, it seemed like he was trying to get across this great, transcendent idea and just not conveying it well either way I wasn't terribly impressed. The characters all felt pretty flat and lifel ...more
Matt Moore
Feb 27, 2010 rated it really liked it
A dark, almost hopeless SF tale that is epic in scope but intimate in its telling, like Stephen King's The Stand. Deep-space longhaulers awake from cryosleep to find a plague has wiped out their planet, and they must find both the means and the will to go on. They find both in a desire to seek retribution from the nearly all-powerful Nexus, who they believe has caused the plague. What follows is one of the most grueling and desperate SF tales I have ever read. Survival, will to live, hope, faith ...more
Lee Gingras
Mar 05, 2012 rated it did not like it
My satisfaction with this book started off high, leveled off until halfway through the book, and then steadily sank. The initial idea is really interesting - space dystopia with a hint of technocracy plus a mystery plague - but there's way too much "and then they did THIS and then they did THAT" and villain intrigue for me. I forced myself through the "and they they journeyed through the harsh icy landscape" scene, which was WAY too long. The writing is painfully choppy in places. The very begin ...more
Jun 08, 2014 rated it it was ok
UGH where do I even begin?? this book might just be one of the most annoying and unsatisfying things I've ever read. This book has so many things wrong with it I'll just number them off:

1) two-dimensional characters (especially with the promise of Liis, who is immediately subverted to a love-object with no personality)
2) disconnect in storylines (500 years??)
3) so unimaginative (Bh'Haret has cement and cars? hmmmmm)
4) boring-ass plot
6) boring-ass love triangle
Aug 05, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf-fantasy
Short take: I liked the story; I liked the Nexus universe Boyczuk created and would like to see more stories set in it ((view spoiler)).

I'd have enjoyed it more if the two protagonists - Sav and Liis - were more interesting characters. It's only toward the end that Sav does more than simply react (and usually badly) to events; and Liis never really becomes an active character.
Adam Davis
Mar 31, 2014 rated it did not like it
I couldn't find anyone in this book who I liked or was even interested in. The motivations of the characters were mind-blowingly ignorant. The premise for the book was solid (crew emerging from deep space to find that their home planet has been wiped out by an epic plague), but it went nowhere after the promising start. I kept feeling that it was just about to get good - but it never did. ...more
Scott Williams
May 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
I fairly devoured this! It was very engaging and the pace was perfect. The author's voice is clear and concise but still artful. I really hope there's a Nexus sequel on the way because I'd love to read one! ...more
Robin Grahm
Feb 16, 2014 rated it did not like it
it's bad :-( ...more
Nov 14, 2014 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chizine_own
This is copy 12 of 41 signed number copies.
Jan 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
What if you came back to your home planet after a long-haul run across the galaxy and everyone was dead from a plague?
Aug 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
A doomed mission with a crew that doesn't like or trust each other.
Sounds like some jobs I've had.
rated it really liked it
Jul 25, 2012
rated it it was ok
Sep 30, 2013
rated it liked it
Jun 02, 2012
Gerrie Schenck
rated it liked it
Mar 26, 2014
rated it it was amazing
Mar 03, 2013
Anthony Fleenor
rated it really liked it
Jan 14, 2017
William Schwartze
rated it really liked it
Feb 04, 2017
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