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Search tags: Alastair-Reynolds
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review 2018-01-25 01:25
No idea what happened in this book.
Revenger - Alastair Reynolds

Seemed like a good time to have a change of pace so I decided that 'Revenger' would be a good pick. Space pirates? Set in the far future? Two sisters who sign on only to help save their family from bankruptcy? Sure, why not.

 

Well, no. This was my first exposure to Reynolds and I had kept my hopes up in seeing the overall good rating on Goodreads. Unfortunately this was definitely a case of "Should Have Read the Most Helpful Reviews First" because those were right on the money. Apparently the book is actually a YA title, which surprised me. I'm "meh" on the YA genre but this one is definitely a stinker in the genre.

 

Right from the beginning I could tell it would be trouble. The writing seemed clunky and didn't really grab me right away. It was difficult to care about these two sisters and the main character was an immediate turnoff. An unlikeable character is not necessarily a bad thing, but the other stuff (another character, the story, etc.) had all better be compelling to keep me going. This wasn't it.

 

I suppose that it is supposed to be "hard science fiction" might have something to do with it but as 'Jurassic Park' and 'The Martian' are supposed to be examples of literary hard science fiction (and I liked the both of those!) I thought this would be fine. Nope. It seems quite a few people picked this based on their previous experience with Reynolds. Can't say I'll feel particularly compelled to pick up any of his other works in the future. Skip this.

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url 2018-01-23 13:54
29 books releasing today in series
Cast in Deception - Michelle Sagara
Elysium Fire - Alastair Reynolds
How to Date Your Dragon - Audible Studios,Amanda Ronconi,Molly Harper,Jonathan Davis

See complete list at Fictfact.com's Book Release Calendar. (Click today's date.)

Source: www.fictfact.com/BookReleaseCalendar
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review 2018-01-01 18:21
Elysium Fire
Elysium Fire - Alastair Reynolds

This was the best book that I've read in a while. This isn't normally what I'm used to reading but I thought I'd take a chance on it. I was sucked into to story from the beginning and didn't want it to end. This story follows quite a few different characters and at times does jump from present to past. I don't really want to give anything away but I will say that there are mysterious deaths throughout the book that really drive these characters to try and solve the mystery behind the deaths. I enjoyed the reveal of information towards the end of the book. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the galley.

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review 2017-11-26 22:15
Slow Bullets (Alastair Reynolds)
Slow Bullets - Alastair Reynolds

Synopsis: Scur is a conscripted soldier at the end of a long war involving many
worlds when she is captured and tortured by a war criminal. As she is left for
dead she is rescued and for unknown reasons and put aboard a prison ship in stasis.
But things don't go as planned and Scur wakes up aboard a dying ship, with other prisoners and crew waking up at the same time, all of them confused.

Review: I was disappointed with this book. I really wanted it to be more than it
was. I liked the title; I even had a whole theory about what the plot of the
book would be before I had read it, based on that title alone. Sadly I was
disappointed.

Whats wrong with the book? Its only 190 pages, in paperback, and that is not
long. It would have greatly benefited from a greater exposition of details,
characters, and plot. I would have liked to see the characters rebuild their
society, or forge something great, but all the story really gives is the vaguest
gloss over this. It feels like Reynolds wrote it in a couple of weeks, just to
get something to a publisher. It is supremely mediocre, but it could have been so
much better with a bit more time and attention.

The story is entirely told from a first person narrative, and is quite linear in
its approach. The end was a little to idealistic for my taste as well. The one
thing I really liked was the concept of the Slow Bullets, a repository of personal data and memory. I wish that the book had taken the time to give a more thorough explanation of the concept.

2 and a half stars. Next up is What the Dickens by Gregory Maguire. This one has been waiting on my shelf for a long time, and I'm trying to get to some of those books.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-09-08 12:32
Revenger - Alastair Reynolds
Revenger - Alastair Reynolds

Another book read courtesy of my local library system and their 45p reservations - while I finished this book, it was very much skimmed towards the end and there's no chance I'll bother with the eventual sequel (due out in 2019, I think?). Partway through, I was wondering if Revenger was supposed to be YA because there's usually a clue about the age of the protagonists - in this case late teens - but couldn't see anything on the cover or blurb that implied this. So, if you're looking to avoid teenage angst or impulsive decision making then this might not be the book for you. 

 

The basic premise is that a bunch of civilisations have risen and fallen, leading to the known universe being speckled with what are called 'baubles' - essentially caches of historic weaponry, technology and valuable goods, usually protected so they can only be accessed in particular times for a limited period. As a result, some people make a living doing salvage and it's this lifestyle that our protagonists, two teenage sisters, get themselves into when their father bankrupts the family firm. In this economy, teenagers have a particular value because they can utilise the technology employed to communicate over long distances and their ability to do this dwindles as they get older.

 

Anyway, after a couple of missions, the sisters are separated - one is captured by a pirate and the other eventually rescued but then dragged home under duress, all the while vowing to escape and rescue her sister. I was already having some issues with the pacing up to this point, as well as the flatness of pretty much all of the characterisation - the main villain, for example, refers to herself in the third person and there's plenty of (metaphorical) moustache-twirling to accompany it. This is the point where, in order to remove a tracking bracelet, the protagonist has her arm cut off and, although the technology exists to just sever the arm and then replace it intact, chooses to have a prosthetic instead. Not because of any special abilities, since I was waiting for it to be a piece of foreshadowing, but because it's pretty. *headdesk*

 

Anyway, I'm sure this book is someone's cup of tea but it wasn't quite mine. Folks looking for space opera without any kind of romantic sub-plot will probably like this a lot, though there is a pretty high body count too.

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