Andres's Reviews > Vortex

Vortex by Robert Charles Wilson
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's review
Aug 01, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: fiction

If you've read my reviews of the previous books in the Spin trilogy, then you know I loved the first book but hated the second. This final volume is a mixture of the two, therefore I liked it, but not too much or too little.

It does wrap up the story, but it ends on a kind of big-idea note rather than a character based one. 'Spin' was all about characters and story, with 'Axis' starting out about characters then devolving into plot with a bit of idea chewing. 'Vortex' is light on developing characters (using them more as sounding boards for certain ideas rather than being fully fleshed people) and heavy on plot and big ideas.

Some of the ideas here are really intriguing but we only get a glimpse of them in the quickly paced narrative. The idea of continents as ships, a population all emotionally linked together, etc. are interesting and I only wish we could have somehow explored some of those ideas more, or lived in the world a little bit more. We do learn more about the Hypotheticals and what their ultimate goals are, and it's not as big a revelation as you may have wanted, but it certainly keeps in line with what we've already learned about them---and it is kind of sinister, to boot (especially when you think about the "butterflies" scene).

All in all, this is a great read for the ideas first, the plot second, the characters last. In fact, you should just skip 'Axis' altogether since 'Vortex' works just the same whether you read it or not.
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