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The Prefect (Ace Science Fiction) [Kindle Edition]

Alastair Reynolds
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $8.99
Kindle Price: $7.69
You Save: $1.30 (14%)
Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC

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Book Description

Tom Dreyfus is a Prefect, a law enforcement officer. His current case: investigating a murderous attack against one of the Glitter Band habitats that leaves nine hundred people dead. But then he uncovers an even greater threat-a covert plot by an enigmatic entity seeking nothing less than total control of the Glitter Band.




Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The seventh novel set in Reynolds's Revelation Space milieu (most recently encountered in his 2007 collection Galactic North) is a fascinating hybrid of space opera, police procedural and character study. One of the 10,000 colony habitats of the utopian Glitter Band has been destroyed, and title character Tom Dreyfus, a cop who patrols the Glitter Band beat, is assigned to learn whodunit and why. Meanwhile, his protégé, Thalia Ng, shepherds a supposedly minor series of software upgrades on several other habitats, while Dreyfus's superiors oust their leader, ostensibly for her own good. Reynolds unfolds revelations layer by onionskin layer, supplying enough detail to imply a novel's worth of unwritten backstory without ever obscuring the stakes and personalities. The high-quality characterization more than compensates for the slightly too shadowy villains. This is solid British SF adventure, evoking echoes of le Carré and Sayers with a liberal dash of Doctor Who. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Reynolds returns to Revelation Space to follow the trials and tribulations of Tom Dreyfus, prefect of Panoply, tasked with maintaining democracy throughout the Glitter Band. Between an apparently minor security flaw in the voting software and an apparent attack that left an entire habitat destroyed and the only survivors flawed beta-level copies of three of its inhabitants, Dreyfus is caught in a web of good intentions gone bad. Tension is high as the threads leading to a conspiracy to control the Glitter Band and a plan to destroy people’s rights ostensibly to protect them come together faster than the planners intended. There are secrets in the highest ranks of Panoply; even Dreyfus has kept some from himself. The endgame is creative, though as usual with Reynolds, neither plot nor solution is simple. The questions he raises about freedom and the fascinating solutions his characters come up with are relevant to our own time, and the thriller aspects keep us engaged with the magnificently imagined world in which those questions are resolved. --Regina Schroeder

Product Details

  • File Size: 891 KB
  • Print Length: 516 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0575082186
  • Publisher: Ace; Reprint edition (June 3, 2008)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0015DYJY4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #138,564 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
58 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Tasty Tale December 18, 2007
Format:Hardcover
I've been a fan of Alastair Reynolds' "Revelation Space" novels since I read the first, so my expectations for this book were high; so high I ordered it from Amazon.UK before it was available here in the US. I was not disappointed.

For anyone that has read and enjoyed any of the Revelation Space novels, this is a must read item. For anyone that has not read anything by Alastair Reynolds, this is an excellent choice to introduce you to his style and vision.

Set in the Glitter Band before the Melding Plague, this story really sheds a lot of light on what life could be like if humanity ever manages to get out colonize space as we follow a developing crisis as seen through the eyes of two main characters. It also fills in some explanations around Chasm City and the Rust Belt for those who have read the other Revelation Space books. The story is essentially a police detective story and the author throws the reader into the deep end immediately, creating and maintaining tension throughout.

I've always thought that Mr. Reynolds weaves an interesting tale, but this one surpasses the others by some margin in its inventiveness and interconnectedness of plot lines. I honestly could not put this down, and devoured it on a single business trip; breaking it open on the way out and having finished it before landing on my way home.

I highly recommend this, fan of Alastair Reynolds or not. This is great hard science fiction in the Space Opera genre.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great SF/detective/war story May 9, 2007
Format:Paperback
Despite having published a string of heavyweight SF novels totalling thousands of pages, Alastair Reynolds is still experimenting. The tetralogy that made his name - Revelation Space, Chasm City, Redemption Ark, and Absolution Gap - are huge, sprawling riots of technology populated by dozens of characters who are not always clearly delineated. They open a window on a masterfully depicted future universe whose sheer weight of high-tech detail leaves scant room for character development - in other words, classic hard SF of a kind to delight lovers of Asimov, Clarke, Heinlein, Herbert, Niven and the like. Then, in a departure that pleased some readers and infuriated others, Reynolds swerved into an original blend of hard SF and alternate-universe film noir with Century Rain, before returning to the world of spaceships, nanotechnology, AI, and aliens with Pushing Ice and Galactic North.

In "The Prefect", he modulates perceptibly towards the detective genre, while bowing in the direction of the Tom Clancy school of war novelists and dropping in a little quiet horror that Stephen King would be proud of. The result is a much pacier, focused book with a clear and straightforward plot - although Reynolds still gives us a plentiful dose of technological thrills on the side.

"The Prefect" is set in the Yellowstone system, shortly after the events described in "Revelation Space". The system contains three contrasting human societies, which trade with each other at arm's length: Chasm City, the only major human outpost on the planet Yellowstone; the Parking Swarm, where the spacegoing Ultras dock their vast lighthugger starships; and the Glitter band, a variegated "asteroid belt" of 10,000 human habitats.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A return to the Revelation Space universe May 14, 2007
Format:Paperback
The Prefect is a detective story set in the Revelation Space universe. Readers unfamiliar with the setting are well advised to read the earlier novels first as familiarity with Mr. Reynolds past work is presumed. That said, the story involves entirely new characters and the events of the earlier novels don't have much bearing on the plot.

The Prefect is set in the Glitter Band, home of 10,000 self contained communities. The prefects are ostensibly the police force of the Glitter band but are more appropriately protecct and maintain the voting apparatus that serves as the collective government. When one of the communities is destroyed, apparently in retaliation for spurning a deal proferred by an Ultra ship, the investigation leads to conspiracies involving fellow prefects and shadowy artificial intelligences.

The Prefect is an entertaining and fast paced detective story. Where it falls flat is in giving away too many of the secrets early on. While I enjoyed the book, many parts seemed rushed and the characters were not given enough opportunity to develop.

Overall, fans of the prior Revelation Space books should enjoy this, while new readers should start with the earlier books.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars One of the weakest books from Reynolds October 2, 2009
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I am a big fan of Alastair Reynolds, he is one of the greatest SF writers of our time. Unfortunately, he drops the ball big time with The Prefect.

What I really like in most of AR's work, that the stories are believable, there are no contrived plot elements just to increase the tension. Everything is logical and makes sense. Well, in this book this is not the case at all.

Characters do not do the sensible and obvious things in the book. Not just once, but major plot elements feel totally unrealistic. In the book there is nano-technology enabling people to conjure up furniture at will. There is also a system-wide computer network connecting everyone. Yet, investigators do not have recording equipment, interrogations are performed without recording and witnesses, prisoners are not under constant surveillance (in one case not even guarded), spaceships do not have tracking devices and can just get lost. There are also obvious solutions to some problems that are not even considered in the book.

IT DOES NOT MAKE ANY SENSE.

I only read the book because it reveals some interesting things about events that are present in the other book of the series.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Background to Yellowstone
Interesting view into the daily life of pre-plague Yellowstone and Glitter Band. I'd like to read more about Dreyfus, Aumonier and Thalia.
Published 2 months ago by Pauli Sarkia
5.0 out of 5 stars Finest novel in the RS universe
The Prefect is a novel that offers fan service because it shows (a) the golden era of the Glitter Band, and (b) a huge crisis in the band that we expected to see with the... Read more
Published 2 months ago by haydnfan
3.0 out of 5 stars I liked it
Not a spectacular title, and nothing breathtaking about the setting of the story. Once you get past the annoying way the central character is ALWAYS 100% accurate and his... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Reuben Robert
5.0 out of 5 stars classic reynolds
Great book, I'm addicted to his Revelation Space universe. Exploring the Glitter Band was such a treat, and as always I fell in love with the characters
Published 3 months ago by John Pomykala
3.0 out of 5 stars Too slow and too predictable
Compared to other stories by this author this one is too slow, to predictable, and often just plain boring. Try another one.
Published 4 months ago by BoulderReggy
5.0 out of 5 stars Alastair's best novel.
The depth and scope of the Prefect is amazing. There is almost too much detail. A book that is a great re-read to discover missed details.
Published 5 months ago by Dennis Murray
4.0 out of 5 stars Reynolds Fan
As a (mostly) non-reader of SF, I started Revelation Space with trepidation but after finishing that, and then Chasm City, I decided I would continue reading Reynolds. Read more
Published 8 months ago by RhodeIsland 1969
4.0 out of 5 stars Modern Asimov
Well written and kept me interested until the end. The story reminded me of some of the old Asimov stories--essentially a mystery wrapped within a sci-fi environment. Read more
Published 9 months ago by JOHN I. MCCONNELL
2.0 out of 5 stars Illogical plot and cliched dialogue
The main problem with this book is the plot. The characters do stupid things when the plot requires. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Dirk Gently
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Classic SF Stuff
A nice stand alone novel set in the Glitter Band of the Revelation Space universe pre-Plague. Classic Cop SF, perfect for a poolside holiday read.
Published 13 months ago by Mark G Stone
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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.

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Alastair Reynolds Pushing Ice
none that ive heard of. I traded an email with Al not to long ago, and it sounded like he was working on new (new ip) material.
Jul 16, 2008 by Bigdawg293 |  See all 2 posts
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