A thousand years in the future, mankind's influence expands into the universe.
Alastair Reynolds epic vision of our journey into deep space will redefine Space Opera. Mankind is making its way out into the universe on massive generation ships.
The new novel from Alastair Reynolds is one for fans of Peter F. Hamilton and Iain M. Banks.
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Reynold's return to mastery
While I thought Blue Remembered Earth (the first of the Poseidon's Children series) only average, with On The Steel Breeze Reynolds returns to the levels of mastery I associate with many of his other books. Again, the scope is enormous, entailing the nature of politics, emotions, intergenerational ties, time, artificial intelligence, morality and God... And amazingly, he succeeeds in weaving these threads into a believable tightly knit whole.
I am a fan of space opera, and so it should come as no surprise I find Reynolds so marvelous. Still, I think this book and the upcoming series deserves a much broader audience.
There are some scenes in the book that should have particular interest for debates on morality and God, where the knowledge of being surveilled by powerful entities impacts (or not, depending on your interpretation) deeply moral decisions. Would love to hear them debated.
The elephants are an interesting theme throughout the book, but I don't think Reynolds has used them as fully in the narrative as their repeated mentioning might make sensical. I suspect they will make their presence more known in future installments of the series.
An earlier reviewer remarks that the books feels unfinished, perhaps as an outcome of the $1m contract Reynolds has with his publisher for the series. I am sure the book could be better (as could any book) and it might be it does not reach the full heights of some books in the Revelation Space series. Still, Reynolds manages to push all of the right buttons with me, which means I would not be able to give the book less than a full score. I cannot imagine Reynolds-fans will be disappointed.
Adjoa Andoh does a really good job giving voice to the different characters and the tense emotions that sometimes grip them. Admittedly, I have always felt Reynolds books are better in audio than on paper, perhaps partly thanks to the narrators.
- Andreas Henriksson