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Evening's Empires Paperback – July 18, 2013
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The Quiet War was one of the best books McAuley has written, and Evening's Empires makes an excellent companion to it. These are books that, if there is any justice, will shape the stories we tell about our solar system for many years to come. -- Paul Kincaid Interzone
About the Author
Paul McAuley won the PHILIP K. DICK AWARD for his first novel and has gone on to win the ARTHUR C. CLARKE, BRITISH FANTASY, SIDEWISE and JOHN W. CAMPBELL AWARDs. He gave up his position as a research biologist to write full time. He lives in London. You can find his blog at: http://www.unlikelyworlds.blogspot.com
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I have read only the first two ('The Quiet War' and 'Gardens of the Sun'). This story is set in the richly woven 'Quiet War' universe, about 15 centuries after The Quiet War. Its a bit of a coming-of-age story for the main character Hari, a young man in the asteroid belt and Saturn orbit; part of a down-on-its-heels solar civilization.
The beginning of the story starts strong. It vaguely reminded me of 'True Grit', by Charles Portis.
However, I missed something, like a whole novel or maybe as many as three novels. Major plot elements of a story or stories I'm not aware of intrude into this novel. This leads to digressions and repetitions that drag heavily on the story.
A major premise also broke-down early for me. When I first started reading, I thought only about a century had passed since The Quiet War. The story postulates that more than a millennium had passed. As rich as the Quiet War universe is, this story did support that. For example, technologically things had not changed much at all since The Quiet War, despite at least two 'Golden Ages'. The author's imagination failed to span the centuries to my mind. It was just too 22nd Century.
Finally, characters also had a strange way of appearing and disappearing in the story. Some of them, quiet likeable and worthy of development have the longevity of a Mayfly in spring.
So, I was left disappointed. This story would have been a great novella, set about a century after The Quiet War. As a chase across the solar system amongst the ruins of a centuries old solar civilization, it fall flat.
The only criticism I would offer is that there is not much support for the supposedly incredible devices many of the characters have.
This book, and the others in this series, are really good.
Most recent customer reviews
An adventure though the solar system.