Milda Page Runner's Reviews > The Prefect

The Prefect by Alastair Reynolds
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it was amazing
bookshelves: science-fiction, mystery-thriller
Recommended to Milda by: Lee


4.5* rounded up to 5*. Whilst it’s not flawless – personally I really enjoyed it and had hard time putting the book down. Given a chance I would have read it in few days.

Intense and fast paced sci-fi mystery thriller. Main focus is on the investigation and events evolve quickly. Worldbuilding and characterisation are kept light, giving you just enough to get the feel for the world (which is incredibly rich and interesting) and enough to connect with the main characters. Concise prose worked for me – not once did I feel like skimming boring descriptions of landscape or architecture.
There is warmth in main character’s relationship with his deputies and Aumonier, and humour in the dialogues that reminded me of Vorkosigan Saga esp. Miles. On the whole though it’s darker, more intense and has much more interesting and imaginative world.
It also has some parallels with Takeshi Kovacs in darker aspects of the world, Ultras (cyborgs), political dilemmas and questions raised. But Prefect is lighter, more upbeat and less philosophical in comparison.
It straddles the line between dark and light quite well in my opinion.

It’s one of those books that drops you straight into action without any introductions or explanations; the worldbuilding is done on the go bit by bit. It takes about 30-40% of the book to get the sense of the world and Panoply. I enjoyed uncovering the puzzle and felt satisfied by the end to have a pretty clear picture.
Now if you dislike blundering in the dark and want to understand the world from the start – there is an intro in the beginning of the second Prefect book Elysium Fire which explains Yellowstone, Glitter Band, Panoply, democracy, polling and what prefects do. Skip the last 2 sentences as they vaguely mention events of the first book and it is perfectly usable at the start.

The Takeaway:

The Clockmaker – blew my mind. One of the most interesting imaginative sci-fi creatures. With the razor sharp edges.
The Whiphound – awesome! In case of zombie apocalypse - I want one of those. :)
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Reading Progress

February 13, 2019 – Shelved
February 13, 2019 – Shelved as: to-read
February 13, 2019 – Shelved as: science-fiction
April 14, 2019 – Started Reading
April 14, 2019 –
page 0
0.0% "Buddy read with Mimi and Carol.
Sci-fi wave started by a wonderful Children of Time - continues! :)"
April 15, 2019 –
10.0% "So far so good.
It seems Reynolds doesn't bother much with introductions, explanations, scenery or building up the conflict - it's straight into the fray.
I'm not complaining :D"
April 17, 2019 –
22.0%
April 20, 2019 –
32.0% "This is really can't-put-it down good. I just wish I had more time for reading."
April 22, 2019 –
51.0%
April 24, 2019 –
68.0% "Really hard to put down atm."
April 25, 2019 –
80.0%
April 27, 2019 – Finished Reading
April 29, 2019 –
99.0% "I'm done, just gathering thoughts for review.
Loved it! Can't decide 4 or 5*.
And can't wait to get my hands on the next book."
May 4, 2019 – Shelved as: mystery-thriller

Comments Showing 1-15 of 15 (15 new)

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message 1: by Samir (new) - added it

Samir Great review, Milda! :) This sounds very intriguing. Adding it to tbr pile. :)


Milda Page Runner Thanks Samir! :) I think you would like it. No guaranties ofc, but iirc you liked Miles' Vorkosigan investigations so there is a good chance.
Also the prose is not flowery or descriptive - nice and straight forward and characters are easy to like.


message 3: by Samir (new) - added it

Samir Milda wrote: "Thanks Samir! :) I think you would like it. No guaranties ofc, but iirc you liked Miles' Vorkosigan investigations so there is a good chance.
Also the prose is not flowery or descriptive - nice and..."


Sold! :)


carol. I agree that the Clockmaker was quite fascinating. I would like to read a story about him, or Dreyfus investigating his story more fully. Also loved the Whiphound.


message 5: by Efka (new)

Efka Tai jau skaityk ir "Revelation space" seriją visą dabar. :))


Milda Page Runner carol. wrote: "I agree that the Clockmaker was quite fascinating. I would like to read a story about him, or Dreyfus investigating his story more fully. Also loved the Whiphound."

I hope to encounter him? (it?) again in the other Revelation Series books. :)


Milda Page Runner Efka wrote: "Tai jau skaityk ir "Revelation space" seriją visą dabar. :))"

Skaitysiu - butinai. Ne visa istisai, aisku, su pertraukom - kad ne perdegt. Bet tikrai itrauke, labai idomus pasaulis, ir butybes.


Mimi Great review, Milda. Agreed with everything you said. Even though I didn't understand much of the world building, I still enjoyed the read and really wanted to learn about about this strange new universe.


Milda Page Runner Mimi wrote: "Great review, Milda. Agreed with everything you said. Even though I didn't understand much of the world building, I still enjoyed the read and really wanted to learn about about this strange new un..."

Gaps in the worldbuilding worried me in House of Suns - because I knew it's stand-alone. With the Prefect - there are at least 5 more books in the same universe. It's very likely that interesting creatures, events, aspects will be expanded on, or at least there is a hope for it - so it didn't bother me so much. :)


message 10: by Nelson (new)

Nelson Oh God. Otra más pa la lista D;


message 11: by Efka (new)

Efka Milda wrote: "It's very likely that interesting creatures, events, aspects will be expanded on"

It's a bit complicated in your case, as "The Prefect" is the start of a new series, but at the same time it's the final, fifth book of another series.

And generally it's not a best of ideas to begin the series starting with a book #5 of it, so... :)) It might get expanded on, or it might not. The first book of main series explains everything quite good, though.


Milda Page Runner Efka wrote: ""The Prefect" is the start of a new series, but at the same time it's the final, fifth book of another series. "

No 5? O.O
Which series? It shows #0.1 of Revelation series at least for me. Is there another series?


message 13: by Efka (new)

Efka Yeah, as I said, it's complicated. It is nr. 0.1 in the story timeline, but nr. 5 by chronological publishing.

Revelation space, Chasm City, Redemption Ark, Absolution Gap, The Prefect, Elysium Fire - that is the "correct" timeline by publishing year. Can't say much about the last two books, but I've read the first four, and it was pretty clear both in terms of story and worldbuilding. Though "Chasm city" can also be read as a stand-alone. So... As I've said - it's complicated. :))


message 14: by Milda (last edited May 08, 2019 04:00AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Milda Page Runner It is always a dilemma if it's better to read in chronological order (story timeline) or publishing order. I've picked the chronological order listed here: https://www.goodreads.com/series/5639...

According to Reynolds though it's only important to read 1) Revelation Space, 2) Redemption Ark and 3) Absolution Gap in that order, others don't matter - they can be read as stand alone at any point.

Makes me wonder though if the world would have been more clear if I picked publication order.
I suppose we'll know the answer to this question once I'll start reading Revelation Space :D


message 15: by Efka (new)

Efka Probably it would've. At least it did for me. 😊


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