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Axis (Spin) Mass Market Paperback – June 3, 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
This may be up for debate, but I do believe reading Axis requires one to have read Spin. While the most of the primary players in Axis make their debut here, the story truly builds on the events of Spin. And let's just say the Hypotheticals (the galaxy-spanning artificial intelligence that set the Spin in motion) "remember" the events of the first novel.
This is not a great Robert Charles Wilson book...which is kinda like saying "this is a slow Ferarri". Wilson has been in a class of his own since "A Bridge of Years", writing character-driven sci-fi for geeks with a passing knowledge of cosmology and physics. To me, Axis reads a bit like Bios. Its short and to the point, hurtling along like a freight train toward a brick wall. Things feel like they won't end well. Characters get short-shrifted in service of the inscrutable plot.
But like most "middle stories" (I hate to say this, but I think "The Matrix Reloaded" is a good example), I think Wilson is building toward something huge. Spin was great because he expertly juggled big ideas, big science and great characters and the end of the book felt like closure. Things are much more open-ended in Axis.
Wilson is an accomplished storyteller. He specializes in taking big, crazy "What-If" scenarios, making them plausible, and viewing them through the lives of credible human characters. What if Europe were suddenly replaced by a wilderness? What if gigantic war memorials began appearing from the future? In Spin, the Earth is enclosed in a barrier by an unknown alien power, nicknamed the Hypotheticals. After a few years inside the barrier, Earth emerges four billion years into the future, with a transdimensional gateway in the Indian Ocean that leads to a new, inhabitable planet, Equatoria.
Axis takes place thirty years later on the new frontier world. The story follows Lise, an intelligent, 30's-ish woman who is looking for clues to her father's disappearance 15 years earlier. Her search leads her into the shadowy world of the Fourths, humans who have illegally taken a Martian longevity treatment. The ultimate goal of the group is to establish contact with the Hypotheticals, through Isaac, a boy with special abilities. On the run from the authorities, Lise and her companions end up learning more about the Hypotheticals than they bargained for.
As with any Wilson novel, the writing is superb and the characters well-drawn.Read more ›
WARNING: SOME SPOILERS AHEAD:
Author Robert Charles Wilson deals with the post-SPIN world and where the arch that the Hypotheticals erected on Earth leads to combining two different narrative threads that ultimately converge. The first involves Lise Adams who is searching the new world for clues to the disappearence of her father a supporter of the Fourths who had a fascination with both their culture as well as the Hypotheticals themselves. Lise enlists a former lover Turk to help her find the last person who may have seen her father.
Intertwined with that story we also learn about Issac a boy specifically bred to communicate with the Hypotheticals by an off-shoot of the Fourths led by a former collegue of Lise's father. All of this is topped off with the threat of ash falling from the sky that appears to be the remains of Hypotheticals (biological, mechanical or both...we're not really given a clear answer on this)and the bizarre creatures that sprout out of the soil when they settle on the planet's surface.
AXIS is much more character driven and smaller in scale than SPIN was. Lacking that story's grander story makes it appear that AXIS is somehow a lesser novel but that's not the case at all. We may not make huge strides in finding out who the Hypotheticals are, what they want and what their interest is in humanity but we are given some answers even if many of them aren't quite as conclusive as we'd like. It appears that Wilson is setting the stage for a third more comprehensive novel with AXIS.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A decent story overall, but ultimately I thought that it didn't capitalize on the momentum or interest generated by "Spin. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Andrew
Part II of the Spin trilogy takes us to a different storyline, and I burned through this. Great storyline.Published 2 months ago by Jeffrey Cross
Having loved Spin this sequel was a slight disappointment but it was never going to equal Spin. Worth checking out if you enjoyed Spin. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Kay Smillie
I would recommend this to a friend. I am usually wary of "trilogies." They so often turn into endless serials with no originality. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
This was an intriguing continuation of the premise set in the first of the series. The thing about distopias is that we will disagree on human nature. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Charles
Robert Charles Wilson is one of my favorite writers. I love how he can build suspense with a creaking car or a growing glass tube. Read morePublished 4 months ago by SM
Same as the first book. A lot of potentially interesting ideas that are totally wasted. And the characters are so miserable and unlikable. Very disappointing.Published 6 months ago by Robert Wilburn
Sequel to Spin and a must-have if you enjoyed Wilson or that book.Published 7 months ago by Steven T. Forsyth