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Publisher's Summary

Nine hundred thousand years ago, something annihilated the Amarantin civilization just as it was on the verge of discovering space flight. Now one scientist, Dan Sylveste, will stop at nothing to solve the Amarantin riddle before ancient history repeats itself. With no other resources at his disposal, Sylveste forges a dangerous alliance with the cyborg crew of the starship Nostalgia for Infinity. But as he closes in on the secret, a killer closes in on him because the Amarantin were destroyed for a reason. And if that reason is uncovered, the universe - and reality itself - could be irrevocably altered.
©2008 Alastair Reynolds (P)2008 Tantor
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Critic Reviews

"One of the best books of the year." ( Science Fiction Chronicle)"Ferociously intelligent and imbued with a chilling logic - it may really be like this Out There." (Stephen Baxter, co-author of The Light of Other Days)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Eoin on 07-15-12


This book defeated me, I am ashamed to say. I do most of my audio listening whilst driving, but this requires you too pay too much attention, and thus, while driving you lose important plot points, for two reasons:

1) There is a lot of tech within the book, and diluted time due to near-light speed travel on ships, and there is a lot of scene-shifting within chapters, which leads me to...

2) Other reviewers have alluded to it already, but it was a bad move not to have some sort of pause or audio-cue when scene-shifting between chapters. What happens is that John Lee (whose other stuff is ok, in my opinion), moves between scenes without taking a breath and you completely lose where you are whilst driving.

Shame I have to give it up, it's supposed to be a classic series. But them's the breaks.

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127 of 133 people found this review helpful

By cmthomas on 02-03-10

Challenging noir space opera bursting with ideas

Revelation Space has three main characters one of Russian decent, one of French and one Indian, with many Japanese characters figuring prominently, and the narrator portrays each one with the appropriate accent. The perspective of the novel shifts between these characters liberally within each chapter. Further, future tech flies fast and furious with explanations dispersed (sometimes) over several chapters. Taken together these factors make for a challenging read, but the fast-paced intricate and mind-bending ride is incredibly rewarding. The Revelation Space universe is proof that Reynolds' space operas are equal to the likes of M. John Harrison's or Iain M. Banks'.

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16 of 16 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Peter on 07-06-10

Good story - Fell out with the narrator.

This is the first Alastair Reynolds book I have read and it grew on me. The first third is a little confusing; the main cause of which I think is the narrator's style. I have greatly enjoyed John Lee's narration in other books but on this occasion I felt it left quite a lot to be desired. It sounded like he had spend a lot of time perfecting some sort of Eastern European accent and then, when he had got it just right, he applied it to all the characters! Therefore, at times, I had no idea who was speaking. Once you get a feel for the plot and who everyone is, the 'audio-homogeneity' is not really a big issue, but it did take me a while longer than usual to settle into this book.

On the whole I found it enjoyable, with a good story and some great sci-fi moments, although it did not inspire me to read any sequels for a while, especially as I have read numerous reviews of the opinion that this book is the best of the bunch.

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16 of 16 people found this review helpful

By Mr Munn on 04-02-14

Buy a hard copy instead !!!

Is there anything you would change about this book?

The narration - truly awful. SO bad I couldn't manage to finish the book.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

Don't really know as could not finish it due to the monotonous intonation of the narrator. The first audiobook I haven't managed to finish :-(

What didn’t you like about John Lee’s performance?

Very flat performance with a monotone intonation with no variation in pitch or speed. It really ruined the part of the book that I actually could face listening to. I managed about an hour before it got so bad I gave up and listened to something else.

Was Revelation Space worth the listening time?

I only managed an hour before giving up - can't really comment on the story but it sounded like an interesting premise.

Any additional comments?

The first time have ever felt the need to write a review and I am doing so just to warn people to buy the paper version of the book and read it for yourself as the flat narration sucks all the joy from the story. Take heed reader - the narration alone makes this a true waste of a credit - you have been warned !!!

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12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Thesle on 04-05-15

A well told and complex narrative

Reynolds starts the story with several seemingly unrelated narratives that he gradually weaves together, generating interest, along with a lot of questions. Although he doesn't answer all of them in this book it would appear he has answers for them, which gives a confidence to the story typical of his other works.

The narration is the only let down, with Lee starting every sentence with an accent and ending every sentence by trailing off as if running out of breath. This makes the book difficult to listen to, especially in noisier environments like a car.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

By Keith on 10-25-17


It starts off deceptively slow and disjointed, but enjoyable all the same. As the hours go by listening to it, you began to wonder how all of it fits together as story. It seems like there are multiple separate books being told at once, but as you realise that nothing can travel faster than light in this book's universe, it begin to realise that there is just one story being told on a scale that is hard to imagine. No words are wasted, all are slowly add to whole that crystallizes brutality fast like a rollercoaster.

As for the narrator, if I didn't know better I'd say there were at least a half dozen of them. By the time you're familiar with the main characters, hearing he said this, they said that, etc is mildly distracting because you can simply hear who said what.

Could not recommend more, but be prepared to have your mind turned on as it more than simple journey.

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