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Redemption Ark

(Revelation Space #2)

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4.15  ·  Rating details ·  27,465 ratings  ·  801 reviews
Late in the twenty-sixth century, the human race has advanced enough to accidentally trigger the Inhibitors - alien killing machines designed to detect intelligent life and destroy it. The only hope for humanity lies in the recovery of a secret cache of doomsday weapons -and a renegade named Clavain who is determined to find them. But other factions want the weapons for th ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 694 pages
Published May 25th 2004 by Ace Books (first published 2002)
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Popular Answered Questions
Christopher Griffen Not graphic, no. Quite a bit of swearing, though. Might put you off if you find that offensive.
Ken Kobayashi Chasm City is not a direct sequel of Revelation Space, though it takes place in the same universe. Redemption Ark *is* a sequel of Revelation Space, b…moreChasm City is not a direct sequel of Revelation Space, though it takes place in the same universe. Redemption Ark *is* a sequel of Revelation Space, but it takes place after the events of Chasm City, with some minor characters appearing in it. And I think it has some spoilers for Chasm City, so I suggest reading Chasm City before Redemption Ark. (less)

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Mario the lone bookwolf
Mar 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Trying to break free from potential extinction by quarreling about the right use of alternative, time travel induced, defense options.

The philosophical implications of what good leadership could look like are immense. Would it be right to limit the civil liberties of some groups to avoid disadvantages for all the others in the long term? That´s seen as followed:(view spoiler)
...more
Gabriel
Jan 16, 2009 rated it liked it
This is a very frustrating book to evaluate. There is a *great* 400 page novel sitting inside this flabby 700 page slug.

Reynolds has a great imagination and is extremely thoughtful. This is fantastic hard sci-fi told on an epic scale. Well, almost hard sci-fi, he flirts (needlessly) with breaking the laws of physics, but for the most part we're sitting square in the "real world" here. He does an excellent job of thinking about the *consequences* of his technologies and the way they would shape
...more
mark monday
Jun 19, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: scifi-modern
i'm just going to copy and paste this from a group, because i'm lazy that way. okay maybe i'll edit it a little bit too. for kicks.

it was a good book overall, and i enjoyed it as much as its predecessor. lots of great concepts to digest and i'm still digging the basic idea behind the enemy threat of the Inhibitors. i also really liked reading about the Conjoiners, but then i'm a sucker for anything having to do with melding minds etc.

Reynolds still has his primary weakness: characterization. in
...more
Apatt
Jul 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Revelation Space was the first Reynolds book I read, I imagine it is the starting point for most Reynolds readers as it is his best known and breakthrough book. While I quite like some of Revelation Space I was not exactly won over by it. I found some of it quite hard to follow and the pace flagged from time to time. However, I understood and liked enough of it to try another Reynolds book. Happily that turned out to be House of Suns, a book now firmly ensconced in my SF Top 20 bookshelf, it is ...more
Terry
Jan 10, 2012 marked it as abandoned
Shelves: space-opera, sci-fi
Caveat: this is not really a review, but rather a plaintive cry and is based on having read the previous book set in this universe in full (Revelation Space), an abortive attempt to read the non-series Reynolds book House of Suns, and finally the book in question up to page 236 (out of 694!)…hence no star rating.

Why won’t you let me love you Alastair Reynolds? I *need* some high quality space opera, preferably with various factions of humanity living on planets, in orbital habitats, and on space
...more
Heidi The Reader
In Redemption Ark, we return to the universe of Revelation Space in the second book of Alastair Reynolds' science fiction series. Some of the characters readers will recognize, others are new. As usual, we are treated to Reynolds' prodigious talent when it comes to heaping helpings of the science part of science fiction.

Those are the best parts of this book: the futuristic space battles and the mysterious machinations of the Inhibitors, machines designed by an alien intelligence to wipe out civi
...more
Stuart
Redemption Ark: Promising ideas ruined by excessive page-count
Originally posted at Fantasy Literature
Redemption Ark (2002) is the follow-up to Revelation Space, Alastair Reynolds’ debut novel and the second book in his REVELATION SPACE series of hard SF space opera in which highly-augmented human factions encounter implacable killer machines bent on exterminating sentient life. The first entry had elements of Bruce Sterling’s Schismatrix, Frank Herbert’s Dune, Arthur C. Clarke’s 2001: A Space Od
...more
David Sven
Jul 05, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, audiobooks
The plague ship Nostalgia for Infinity is back. 4 kilometres of machine melded into a cathedral of the grotesque that is part spaceship, part alien virus, part man, more than a bit creepy and 100% Awesome.

Nuff said...but wait, there's more

As if taking the concept of cyborg to the extreme isn't enough, Nostalgia for Infinity comes packing heat. Hell-class weapons. And they aren't call hell-class for nothing - each of them capable of unleashing Armageddon with a thought. And is the mind behind tha
...more
Cecily
Aug 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
Number two in the Revelation Space trilogy; you could read it as a standalone story, but it's better to read in sequence, and it helps if you've also read Chasm City (https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...).

This is a long treasure hunt for super weapons, conducted by two competing factions (though both have the same intention), with a life-or-death deadline. Although that is true, it does it an injustice because there is far more complexity and intrigue than that implies. Reynolds has really
...more
Claudia
Oct 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Better and even darker than the previous one. And so realistic written that it gives you shivers. The action may take place in 27th century but the time scale references spans over 3 billion years. There are concepts which are simply too big to comprehend:

"The grand story of life in the Milky Way - across the entire local group - might just be one thread in something humblingly vast."

Can't wait to see how it will end...

PS: and here you have Nostalgia for Infinity (isn't she beautiful?) :)

...more
David Rubenstein
Sep 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: science-fiction
I usually judge science fiction novels by the new ideas, technologies and concepts that are depicted. But this story just has too many. It felt to me that just about "anything goes". People are capable of just about anything, so there seem to be no limits.

In this story, people's memories can be erased, or transferred to an inanimate object. "True death" occurs when someone dies without their minds being transferred into storage. Weapons are conscious, and sometimes require reasoning with, before
...more
Chris Berko
Jun 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was a hugely satisfying read for me. Every thread was brought to it's logical conclusion and there were just enough new nuggets dropped to make me want to read the next one. I don't know if I like this or Chasm City more, I like them both for different reasons, but one thing that is cool about this series is that I'm three books in and while there is a overall larger story being told each one is totally self-contained. For the last week this has been the kind of book that talks to me while ...more
Pranav Prabhu
Jun 11, 2021 rated it really liked it
Redemption Ark is a much-improved sequel to Revelation Space, addressing many of the aspects I had issues with the first novel while maintaining all the qualities that I enjoyed. It deals with a lot of fascinating scientific concepts and ideas, and these were once again my favourite parts of the book.

“It’s the people who don’t worry—those who never have any doubts that what they’re doing is good and right—they’re the ones that cause the problems.”

Character motivations and actions were someth
...more
Rachel (Kalanadi)
Oct 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
The characters felt so much better in this one than in Revelation Space. That should lend the story more urgency (since the characters are trying to avert disaster, because they obviously care about people and humanity...), but gosh this is long. I love the plot, I love the tech, I love all the things about the worldbuilding, but I had to take a star off for how bloated this began to feel. At 80% I was still waiting for that convergence of all the plotlines that happened about 50% through Revela ...more
William
Mar 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Redemption Ark is a fantastic sequel that begins where Revelation Space left off. In addition to characters carried forward from the original, we have some new recruits:


Alistair Reynolds raised the bar in all respects with this sequel. Very much adheres to "The Al Reynolds Formula," in that it's a well-written mix of sci-fi, horror, suspense, and mystery. Redemption Ark is in the same setting as many stories from "Beyond The Aquila Rift," which I had fun referencing. In terms of readability, it
...more
Jason
Mar 31, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: e-books, read-2010
this is my second Alastair Reynolds novel and the second of the trilogy. I am blown away by the level of realism, depth, and structure of this series. Throw in some incredible characterizations and you have a premium sci-fi series. It also does not hurt the science when the author is a rocket scientist. There are strong protagonists here that make you believe in them. The antagonist is your typical science fiction type of "Grey Goo", mass of tiny robots that are threatening life as we know it. E ...more
Lee
Jun 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have been cruising along with this series, pretty much sitting on the fence on whether I really liked it. Then a third of the way through this book it all clicked together and I was hooked. There is no defining moment or change in the writing style, it really just starts to bring the whole epic story together and you suddenly become aware of the sheer scale of story.

Redemption Ark is brilliant writing. The technical sci-fi stuff is still there, but didn't seem as grandiose as in book one, but
...more
Scott Rhee
Jul 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
Alastair Reynolds's sequel to "Revelation Space" and "Chasm City", "Redemption Ark" takes the reader into the far far future, where mankind has inadvertently awakened an ancient race of machines called Inhibitors, whose job it is to literally "inhibit" the evolution of any species before they become too technologically advanced. Mankind doesn't have a chance against the Inhibitors, who can destroy moons, planets, and stars, which leaves only one alternative for mankind: get the hell out of the g ...more
Lightreads
Dec 29, 2008 rated it really liked it
Sequel to the impressive but flawed Revelation Space. Another 550 pages of interstellar plotting – one of those rotating POV books tracking multiple factions all located somewhere along the sympathy-repulsion spectrum while they maneuver against each other for advantage while an external danger closes in. The external danger being the Wolves, ancient alien machines whose job it is to prune life from the galaxy for reasons not as evil as you might think.

The best part is still the worldbuilding –
...more
Adam
Aug 27, 2007 rated it really liked it
The surreal hyjinks continue in Reynold's apocalyptic epic. Adding propaganda dreams, fetus cops, hyperpigs, orwellian governments, and the terrifying inertia engines(trust me this is true horror), and a doomy cosmic scope. Some how five hundred pages is riddled with tension. Don't compare with pieces of crap like Orson Scott Card, rather Mieville,M.John Harrison, or Swanwick ...more
Kostas
8.5/10

In the second book of the Revelation Space series Reynolds continues to build his world even more, and with his writing becoming better and better as he brings us in an incredible adventure that could change humanity and the whole universe for ever.

The war between the human factions in the recent years has grown and the Demarchists are now in a very critical point as the Conjoiners prepare for their final strike. But all that will change when Skade, a high-level Conjoiner, discovers that t
...more
7jane
Nov 28, 2021 rated it really liked it
The human race has finally ended up triggering the release of the Inhibitors on them: ancient killing machines designed to kill any developed-enough intelligent life. The only hope lies in recovering a secret cache of Conjoiner doomsday weapons – and many want to find it, for different purposes, including a renegade named Nevil Clavain. And the weapons themselves have their own agenda…

Once again, here might be spoilers for other books included… I think one might benefit or enjoy the book more if
...more
AndrewP
The second book of the Revelation Space trilogy seemed to be quite a bit longer than the first but that may have been because most of the worldbuilding had already been done and there was less exciting new stuff. Like most Reynolds books there a a slow start where all the characters and POV's are introduced and for me things did not really start happening until about the half way mark. Once the story took off I found myself doing some extra reading each day. There were a couple of characters in ...more
Ian
In Revelation Space, Alastair Reynolds set up the framework of a creative, somewhat unique, and entirely believable future universe in which humanity is a star-faring civilization over the local portion of our galaxy spanning maybe a few dozen light years. As I explained in my review of that book, he set up a framework with rules and limits, but still sufficiently flexible to allow for creativity and imagination. Reynolds' book The Prefect , a stand-alone novel set in one corner of the Revela ...more
Kerry
Dec 16, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
A traditional race against time story. Also a sprawling space opera. The tension? This race against time is a total marathon with a smattering of teaser races (I.e...a near light speed race across the galaxy for a cache of weapons, a race to evacuate a planet.)

Be advised, there is no resolution in this or the next book. This has to be some kind of literary foul. Instead, we again have a skilled writer striking out on, what feels like, a never ending story. Hey, maybe we could call this, 'pulli
...more
Steve
Dec 17, 2013 rated it liked it
Redemption Ark is one of those books that you hate to give anything less than 5 stars to. You have to admire the author's ambition, the epic sweep of his story, the balancing out of humanity (even with all the scientific hardware and augmentation), and soul eating Lovecraftian-like darkness from the abyss. And yet, at the 400 page mark, I felt the wheels (or jets) wobbling, as plot clutter accumulated, and characters flattened out. To Reynolds' credit, these characters all had an appealing hard ...more
Bradley
Apr 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This sequel puts everything to the test and comes through as a more enjoyable book than the previous two. Perhaps it's just me slowly accreting the weight of the mythos, reaching a certain density before fusion, but the fusion has finally occurred and the books burn bright. I'm to the point I can't put them down. The momentum may still carry me another 3 billion years into the future, but I'm now currently willing to be patient. :)
...more
Kevin Kelsey
Jun 22, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2016
Fun story, but remarkably little happened and some of the character motivations seemed a little iffy. It was a little too focused on the large astronomical events and theoretical physics than character and story.
Jurgen_i
Jan 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is a well done sequel of the Revelation Space cycle. It stays almost on the same quality level with the first book Revelation Space, but completely falls behind the second book Chasm City which is just great (see my rapturous review if you aren’t afraid to catch enthusiasm toward it).

You’ll still find: Interesting plot, vastness in space and time, well-created atmosphere of interstellar age, scientific realism in most cases. Conjoiner society where people are connected via a neural-augmente
...more
Efka
Aug 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
Very slow start, which makes you almost furious at the pace - even a turtle seems a fast runner compared to it, but improves after a while. Though this book most likely will never be a page-turner for an average reader, it sucks you in despite prolonged and very scientific parts which could be hard to comprehend even for native english speakers. The characters are strong and realistic, and, like in a real world, few of them are not very likeable people. Most of them are new to the series, but a ...more
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7,467 followers
I'm Al, I used to be a space scientist, and now I'm a writer, although for a time the two careers ran in parallel. I started off publishing short stories in the British SF magazine Interzone in the early 90s, then eventually branched into novels. I write about a novel a year and try to write a few short stories as well. Some of my books and stories are set in a consistent future named after Revela ...more

Other books in the series

Revelation Space (4 books)
  • Revelation Space (Revelation Space, #1)
  • Absolution Gap (Revelation Space, #3)
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“It’s the people who don’t worry—those who never have any doubts that what they’re doing is good and right—they’re the ones that cause the problems.” 100 likes
“Matter is lazy. It resists change. It wants to keep on doing whatever it's doing, whether that's sitting still or moving. We call that laziness inertia, but that doesn't mean we understand it. For a thousand years we've labelled it, quantified it, caged it in equations, but we've still only scratched the surface of what it really is.” 9 likes
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