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Divergence Mass Market Paperback – May 1, 2007


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Spectra (May 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 055358930X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553589306
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 4.3 x 6.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #235,280 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

The sequel to Capacity (2006) follows former social-care operative Judy's forced return to Earth to find out what DIANA, a defunct Earth corporation that seems to have created her, wants with her before it will let her go. The AI Watcher has spread its control over Earth, using the drug that allowed Judy and other social-care operatives to read the emotional states of their patients to control the minds of Earth's population. But Judy's fellow DIANA creation, Chris, continues fighting the Watcher to change the whole approach to human society. As that battle continues, Earth is bombarded with the seeds of the quantum plants that threaten to destroy all intelligent life. Judy's arrival, and that of some of the cargo of the ship that carries her, will change everything. Ballantyne handles an intricate future skillfully and oddly hopefully, given the terrifying threat of the dark plants, maintaining a fine balance between good characterization and a fast-paced plot. Regina Schroeder
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Review

" Ballantyne handles an intricate future skillfully and oddly hopefully ... maintaining a fine balance between good characterization and a fast-paced plot."—Booklist

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3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Brian A. Schar VINE VOICE on May 23, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Until a few years ago, British and American SF novels were very different animals, each informed by a different culture, and each appealing to different tastes. Then, for whatever reason, around the turn of the century the British Invasion of fantastic SF took America by storm, breaking through the previous reluctance of Americans to embrace SF writers from the UK. Authors like Alastair Reynolds, Charles Stross and Tony Ballantyne burst onto the scene with fresh new ideas and perspectives. The first two novels of Ballantyne's trilogy were among those great British Invasion novels, interesting and fun, and leaving the reader wanting more.

However, this is not the novel one would have hoped for to finish the trilogy. Not much actually happens in it; it's more a novel of characters. But the characters are, by and large, ciphers; for all the time we spend with them, only a couple take on any real personality. The first two-thirds of this novel drags. Some interesting ideas are brought up, but not fleshed out. By the time we reach the climax, one of the characters expresses exactly what I thought: it's anticlimatic. Note to authors: when you write a character saying that the end of the story is anticlimatic, write a better climax.

If you have read the previous two books in this trilogy, you will read this, and you won't hate it, but you will be left with the feeling that it could have been much better.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Avid Reader on June 24, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Tony Ballantyne is a musician and I can't help but think of his novels as literary symphonies complete with movements, fugues, themes and flowing connecting lines. I admit right off the bat that I gave the preceding duo five stars due to the literary, structural and plotline originality. I especially liked CAPACITY, to me, the most successful of the trio. To say I had high hopes for this one would be an understatement - I couldn't wait to get home and get started. As usual, an engimatic beginning leads to a story that draws the reader inside.

We arrive in a Free Exchange (FE) universe. An entity (human, robot, AI, etc) approaches another and asks for a trade and FE software arranges a "fair exchange" though the reasons are murky and many times not known until later. This implies an almost supernatural prescience. The ship, with an interesting crew, takes on Judy (the atomic Judy of CAPACITY fame) who knows that for some reason she is being led to Earth which has become a dangerous place due to the existence of Dark Seeds. These dangerous entities grow in the presence of intelligence, thus, they are attracted to the Watcher who is ruling over a 1984sh Earth, peaceful, non-violent and brainwashed.

The story begins to go awry when Eva is introduced (the ship is the Eva Rye, yet another sign). Judy keeps imagining she is Eva and somehow - please don't ask - the reader is hurriedly given an explanation of the Watcher and his origins, FE and its origins, Judy and her origins, the VNMs and just about everything's origin except the Universe. It seems quite forced and as such, reeks of phoniness. The action gets wilder and wilder and more illogical until...WHOOOSH - the Watcher suddenly leaves and Earth returns to its "old ways" of mud and grass.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By lb136 VINE VOICE on October 7, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Note: This review will not make much sense to you unless you've read the previous two books in this trilogy, but you're welcome to read on all the same. I have tried my best to avoid including spoilers.

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In this conclusion to the trilogy that began with "Recursion" and continued with "Capacity," author Tony Ballantyne brings together the various threads that have woven through the previous two books.

While, as in the previous novels, there's a multiple POV format, this time only one story is told. An ill-assorted group of interstellar traders picks up former Social Care agent Judy, who was featured in "Capacity," as part of a deal that involves the use of something called "FE," for Fair Exchange software.

Judy's now a basket case, and when she learns that she's actually the property of the DIANA corporation, which we learned about in "Capacity," she essentially decides there's nothing that she can do to fight the AI-controlled universe she's in, and lets the traders fulfill her destiny by taking her back to Earth, where the Dark Plants encountered in "Capacity" are now terrorizing what's left of the population, while "The Watcher" and the rogue-bot Glen fight for control.

The book is thoughtful and exciting, though it's not as fast-paced as the first two novels (but as part of the fair exchange it gives you more to think about), and maybe when Eva Rye turns up again, you'll wish she hadn't. The scenes with her, now living in the mostly Watcher-free Russian Free State, go on a bit too long; and the author force-feeds us PC material about disabled people that the novel could have done without.

But that's a minor complaint. The book is compelling.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Part of one of the best Sci-Fi series, ever. I just finished Capacity and I finished Recursion before that. Absolutely brilliant.
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By Karen Cukrowski on November 10, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book takes forever to get to any point, is badly written, and predictable. It feels like a self-important tenth-grader wrote it for a creative writing class.
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