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Absolution Gap (Revelation Space) Mass Market Paperback – May 31, 2005


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Absolution Gap (Revelation Space) + Redemption Ark (Revelation Space) + Chasm City (Revelation Space)
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Product Details

  • Series: Revelation Space (Book 4)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 768 pages
  • Publisher: Ace (May 31, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0441012914
  • ISBN-13: 978-0441012916
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 4.2 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #167,936 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The final volume in British author Reynolds's SF trilogy that began with Revelation Space (2001) fulfills all the staggering promise of the earlier books, and then some. The world Hela, an airless moon of the gas giant Haldora, is remarkable for two things: relics of the extinct alien race called the scuttlers, and the Quaicheist faith, whose observers (aided by infection with a virus that induces religious fervor) watch Haldora in the hope of viewing one of its mysterious, split-second disappearances. Church records show the disappearances are slowly increasing in frequency and duration. Rumors abound, and arriving pilgrims confirm that Haldora's changing behavior is a sign of the end times. When his indoctrinating virus weakens on occasion, however, Quaicheist founder Horris Quaiche has other ideas—as does young iconoclast Rashmika Els, self-taught scuttler archeologist. Meanwhile, unhappy war veteran Nevil Clavain leaves self-imposed exile on the planet Ararat to help his friend, human-pig hybrid Scorpio, and rejoin the battle against the implacable Inhibitors, "wolf" machines that seek out and destroy star-faring civilizations. From a slow start, Reynolds's plot rapidly builds momentum, hurtling to a stunning conclusion. Cinematic imagery and strong characters ably carry this juggernaut of a story, with Big Ideas strewn about like pebbles on a beach. It's not the best book to introduce Reynolds to those who've never read him, but it's without a doubt a fitting finale to the series, a landmark in hard SF space opera.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"A book of great fascination, rich description, and memorable action."—Locus



"Reynolds writes a lean and muscular prose where the intense action scenes are leavened with the kind of bright, shining, mind-boggling science talk that characterizes the best of post-modern space opera."—Science Fiction Weekly


More About the Author

Alastair Reynolds was born in Wales in 1966. He has a Ph.D. in astronomy. From 1991 until 2007, he lived in The Netherlands, where he was employed by The European Space Agency as an astrophysicist. He is now a full-time writer.

Customer Reviews

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  • "Characters" 23
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  • "Depth" 3
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

113 of 121 people found the following review helpful By Gibbs on August 9, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Oh, the humanity! Everything everybody wrote below is true: great, gothic science fiction, creeping horror, technology, darkness. Wonderful, additional storylines thrown in. Oh, and real character development. The first two books (three, including Chasm City) sold me on the Epic Quest of mankind against the Inhibitors, with wonderful little mysteries thrown in, along with tantalizing hints that they all might be related.

But what do we have here? Toss the major connecting thread between the books... the Inhibitors explained away in less than four pages. Magical "out-of-nowhere" saviors who are hinted at only twice in the entire story, and done in a way that they seem nothing more than a callous afterthought.

Imagine this...you've worked your way through the first two (three, including Chasm City) books, slowly grown used to and then developed an affinity for Mr. Reynolds' wonderfully unique style. You're happy with the subtle hints at 700 years of human history, having been given enough of the details to fill in the dark, gothic story with your own imagination. But five hundred pages to go, you start thinking, "Now we'll see the culmination of it all!" Two-hundred fifty pages, and you're thinking, "Ok, anytime now..." One hundred pages, and there's a sinking feeling..." Fifty pages, with the ending to the central theme of the series nowhere in sight, you finally realize the awful truth: this whole storyline was *never* about the Inhibitors. It was *all* a mechanism to force us to fill in the blanks of the future history of humanity, with the Inhibitor battle only a convenient way to move things along.

Until, that is, Mr. Reynolds couldn't write about it anymore. So, with nothing more than a rubber stamp called "Epilogue", the story ends. No mysteries solved.
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62 of 70 people found the following review helpful By Jane Avriette on September 11, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
First, I'd like to mirror what many of the other reviewers have said. Specifically a correlary between Stephen Baxter and Reynolds. He does seem to have a bit of a problem continuing this story.

I think what nobody has mentioned here, and bears mentioning, is that Reynolds left his job as a scientist to pursue writing full time to write this book. It seems that perhaps he got a little cocky.

Where the previous two books (I disagree that this is a four book series) were cold, realistic, hard science fiction (with the notable, but forgivable exception of Skade's FTL escapades and the cache weapons), his resolve to write concise books simply disappears with the third. Bizarre weapons ("hypometric" weapons, "bladder mines", "cryo math", and so on) and forces peek out and begin to play very large parts in this book.

Additionally, characters are spun through very strange trajectories not expected from the previous books. Scorpio is nearly a different character entirely. Brannigan is, well, a person again. Khouri is almost maternal, and rather boring. Clavain is near useless, and certainly uninteresting, and Skade is implausible(er) and not nearly as formidable.

What happened? I don't think anyone but Reynolds can really answer this. As somebody who went to amazon.co.uk to get copies of his books which were unavailable here in the US, I am definitely somebody who is a fan of his. After reading this, however, I'm not sure I'd read another of his books. My hope is that he will realize from the vast majority of reviews of his recent book, that he has taken a turn that was unexpected, and that perhaps he should reconsider.

At any rate, I would also suggest buying as a paperback. Or borrowing.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 9, 2004
Format: Hardcover
With this book, unlike the previous 3 of his I have read, I was disappointed.
The entire question of shrouder/mademoiselle penetration of the conjoiners vanishes. Presumably if the Night Council WAS mademoiselle, it still existed somewhere.
The protagonist AND antagonist from Redemption Ark are removed from the story early in a clearly contrived fashion whose only impact besides clearing the slate for new characters is to give scorpio periodic memories.
The Nestbuilders are only presented in an allusive fashion, but play a large role in the plot. Invisible Hand material (when the story goes to far to be recovered by characters in their enviroment, a new element will be used to resolve the conflict in the plot) in my opinion. The Shadow entities on the other hand at least were built up in the story some.
Greenfly seem to be thrown in after the fact as a way to not have a totally happy ending, particularly if he is planning on writing in this universe more, possibly about Sky Haussmann, assuming he is the person described in the evacuees from Yellowstone.
I would wait for paperback on this one if I had to do it again.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By rpbird on February 8, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Read the other reviews and you'll find the same complaints echoed over and over again. They can be reduced to this observation: there is a profound carelessness on the part of the author that cannot be hidden. Yes, the writing is mostly excellent, Reynolds has an exceptional skill with the written word. Yes, there are several interesting ideas and a vast cargo of cool SF toys for the discriminating gourmet of the apocalyptic. All of it is rendered irrelevant by disastrously bad story choices, sloppy workmanship at the conclusion, and a hackneyed reliance on what the fancy types call "deus ex machina," when he's stuck, the author pulls something out of thin air. Or maybe out of the lower orifice of his body. Doing it once is vastly irritating; doing it three times in a row can be classified as a true dirty deed. All within pages of each other. For those who actually liked this mash, I'll list them. First came the revelation about the shadows, then came the hidden race, then came the greenflies (Don't they have a spray for that?). True aggravation from a writer with a great deal of talent, who for some reason can't deploy that talent on a regular basis.
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