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The tale takes place in a universe where the losers in a galactic civil war were exiled across the "Rift" (an area through which very few of the "electric avenues" used for FTL travel pass.) About a thousand years later the refugees have built their own interstellar civilizations, although those in power fear the day when the victors in that old war will decide to cross the Rift and finish their conquest.
The amount of background detail that is gradually revealed is impressive, as is the careful balancing of factors to make a quest for an object of power seem reasonable. But those who desire a clear-cut ending may not be happy with this book. We are constantly being teased by new details, but even the big reveal at the end only leaves us with more questions and a desire for the sequels whose existence is hinted at in the final chapter.
The accent the reader applies to some characters' dialog is rather strong, but the characters in question are from planets that were originally all populated by a polyglot of refugees, many of which decided to adopt an Old Terran culture and accent as an affectation, so the over-emphasis is understandable and amusing.
I think this book will be enjoyed by fans of space opera, those who enjoy examples of extensive world building, and anyone who is intrigued the asking of questions, even if we're not always given all the answers to those questions.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful
The prose, world building, narration, and story are excellent.
This is not an easy listen, and I can see where some people would be turned off. You may have to listen to parts more than once.
But I dont mind listening to an audio book more than once, and I thought the writing style was worth it.
I hope Flynn writes some more books in this setting..
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
This is my first experience of the author, Michael Flynn, having been recommended to me by a reputable SciFi review site. It is structured as a narrative between two individuals in the distant future, as one recounts a story from his past concerning a quest to retrieve a mysterious, alien and “powerful” artefact that may be influencing the politics of a small group of solar systems.
What I liked about the book was the detail of the universe that the author has created and the structure of various planetary societies, situated very far from a seldom-mentioned Earth. The writing is excellent and the storyline is interesting. Character development is good; there’s space travel and there is a believable blur between “good” and “bad”. I can highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys intelligent SciFi and quality storytelling.