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on November 5, 2007
The previous three books in the "Children of Destiny" series were all structured so that they told the story along two different timelines, switching back and forth between them. Resplendant doesn't so much follow that format, and follows a seemingly linear timeline, albeit on a literally stellar scale.

Resplendent is essentially a collection of short stories, filling in the back story from before the setting of book two "Exultant" to after the end of the events outlined in Book Three "Transcendent". So while it is a very engrossing read, many of the themes and ideas are familier from the previous books.
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on July 7, 2012
Not being a great writer myself I will let others do the plot summaries and simply state my opinion of the book.

I consider Baxter one of the core group of hard science fiction writers however reading his books often feels too much like work...unlike Banks or Reynolds. Maybe its too much exposition on physics and too little character development. The balance between the two is off.

All in all, a so so book.
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on February 29, 2016
This book, and author in general, does what scifi is best for: it shows you A future, and makes you think and analise your present. You get glimpses of current areas of discovery in science, and that is good, but the human, social, and evolutionary, aspects make you want to better understand and perhaps change the present. I have 2 piles (metaphorical) of books: to read again sometime latter, and to put away. I will read this again latter, after i get my thoughts in order, to "get" more from the book.
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on November 20, 2013
Baxter is a Big Ideas writer in very much the mode of Arthur C. Clarke. (He collaborated on three of Sir Arthur's last books.) And many of his Big Ideas are set in a future (and past!) universe called the Xeelee Sequence.

Resplendent is set in that universe. It is a collection of stories unified by telling the story of Humankind's rise from the aftermath of an alien invasion, to Galactic dominance, to its (our) eventual ultimate defeat at the hands of two alien species. One is the Xeelee, an implacable foe simply more numerous and technologically advanced than us, who push us back into the Sol system. The other is the photino birds, dark matter creatures from the dawn of the Universe, who seek to destroy all baryonic matter (the stuff you and I are made of), and who are prematurely aging the Sun (and all stars).

Interstitial matter is provided by Luru Parz, the main character of the first story, who lives through it all, and provides a kind of detached judgement of humanity from a posthuman point of view.

To say I "enjoyed" it would be misleading -- I was engrossed by its scope and the sheer brazenness of some of its ideas (though the only thing I would call a violation of science-as-we-know-it is the absolutely necessary FTL drive); on the other hand it dealt enough gut punches that I had to just put it down at times and let my emotions settle. It isn't a happy story. It's a story of almost continual warfare for a million years. It's a story of repression in the name of survival. But it's also a story full of wonders and the uncrushed human spirit.
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on December 27, 2011
Resplendent is an amazing ride that runs the course of nearly a million years. As a fan of Baxter's many books including those involving the Xeelee, I was more than curious to see how he would tie up the Destiny's Children saga. Some may bemoan the short story format which differs from the first three books in the series but the format works well with a view of history spanning such a huge time span. Those that have never read any of Baxter's earlier books on the Xeelee will probably want read those first.

The storyline covers the entire history of the human race and its explorations of the galaxy. From wars with alien species to the Xeelee, the book covers much of the material presented in earlier books but with a new angle. The main character throughout the book is a woman that happens to be immortal. Through her eyes and experiences, the reader acquires an amazing sense of humanity's tribulations, triumphs, and downfall.
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on June 12, 2010
I was so looking forward to reading this after reading all the other Baxter Xeelee books, and I purposely saved it since Vacuum Diagrams was my favorite and the first one I read. I still haven't read Timelike Infinity but it's on the way in the Xeelee omnibus I ordered. Anyway, even though most of the stories weren't up to the level of the VD ones they are still far superior to most Sci Fi writers today. 'In the Un-Black' may be the most awesome story Baxter has ever written, quite a morality tale, it didn't leave me for days. Think of the way 'Cilia of Gold' hit you at the end of that story and then make it human. Something like that. Still, even though it wasn't another 'Vacuum Diagrams' and some of the stories seem written just to fill in some history, I love it.
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on March 20, 2013
Dissatisfied with this novel, we expect more from the Great Stephen Baxter. Ideas fell flat, characters seemed shallow. Not at the same level as the rest of the series.
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on April 10, 2015
A book of short stories all set in the Universe of the prior Xeelee trilogy by the same author which I'd recommend reading first.
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on December 18, 2014
I do not know, I do not think that I bought this book.
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on January 23, 2016
I would happily read it again .
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