- Series: Noumenon
- Paperback: 576 pages
- Publisher: Harper Voyager (August 14, 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0062497863
- ISBN-13: 978-0062497864
- Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1.3 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 8 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #406,837 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Noumenon Infinity Paperback – August 14, 2018
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“A novel that was anything less than stellar would be an especially disappointing follow-up to the brilliant Noumenon, but Lostetter has achieved that and much more. [...] Sci-fi action and adventure held together by universally human themes; this is the genre at its very best.” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))
“The ambitious and effective sequel to Noumenon […] Lostetter remains at the forefront of innovation in hard science fiction.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))
“Lostetter delivers another feast for fans of hard science fiction.” (Booklist)
“Travel to the remotest reaches of deep space in this wondrous follow-up to the acclaimed Noumenon—a tale of exploration, adventure, science, and humanity with the sweep and intelligence of the works of Arthur C. Clarke, Neal Stephenson, and Octavia Butler.” (Open Book Society)
“Noumenon Infinity by Marina J. Lostetter is an excellent space opera focused on beautiful character details and grand ideas on the biggest stage possible. Highly recommended.” (Primmlife)
From the Back Cover
Generations ago, Convoy Seven and the AI known as I.C.C. left Earth on a mission that would take them far beyond our solar system. The Planet United Consortium, a global group formed to pursue cooperative Earth-wide interests in deep space, launched these nine ships into the unknown to explore a distant star called LQ Pyx.
Eons later, the convoy has returned to LQ Pyx to begin work on the Web, the alien megastructure that covers the star. Is it a Dyson Sphere, designed to power a civilization as everyone believes—or something far more sinister?
Meanwhile, Planet United’s smallest convoy, long thought to be lost, reemerges in a different sector of deep space. What they discover holds the answers to unlocking the Web’s greater purpose.
Each convoy possesses a piece of the Web’s puzzle . . . but they may not be able to bring those pieces together and uncover the structure’s true nature before it’s too late.
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This book takes a wider approach and expands out from one convoy to show another's journey. We still get to follow convoy seven and their quest to understand the alien megastructure, but we also find out what happened to convoy twelve. Convoy twelve was briefly mentioned a few times in Noumenon as having "disappeared" during some kind of experiment gone wrong. Except: surprise! They are alive and we get to find out where and when they go. Lostetter does a great job of making readers care about the fate of several characters at once and even though a section would end, I was excited to see what happened to the other convoy (sections flip back and forth between convoy seven and twelve throughout the book). Both convoys have an AI, C (an earlier version of ICC) and ICC--which works as one of the many "glues" that connect the two narratives.
There were a lot of thematic touches that I adored. For one, the concept of survival and evolution to ensure survival were repeated and by the end of the book some of those points were incredibly emotional and revealing for me as a reader. Noumenon Infinity opens ideas and "what ifs" that are presented as possibilities and the characters must decide how to react to those evolutions. I was shocked and horrified, but also--what makes something "unhuman" or "a threat to our way of life" is dependent on context. The sacrifice of some traits/traditions may be necessary for the greater good, depending on the goals of that society.
Anyway, those are just deeper philosophical threads, for the most part this book concentrates on the journey of several characters and added new favorites to my list for the series. I'm desperate to find out what happens to Vanhi on convoy twelve for example, and what both convoys will do now because of events that happen by the end...I wish I could say but this is a book that shouldn't be spoiled!
The first book, Noumenon, was anther great read, and this sequel is even better! You don't have to read the first book as this does a very good job of standing alone, but it would be slightly helpful. (Plus it's a good read)
The author's idea of continuing a character thru different lifetimes as a clone is rather ingenious. Not that the individual's memories get passed along, but rather the essence of who the person is would be the asme from one iteration to the next. Also, the scope of this epic expands way past the original, in both geography and time.
So this is a very worthy read, and yes it does get personal, and in a variety of clever ways.
In this case, it's about two space convoys, one launched by a space consortium and another a ragtag fleet thought lost, both of which address the story from different directions.
And now that 70s song "Convoy" is stuck in my head.
Both stories are thrilling and crammed with action, with echoes of "Firefly" and "Battlestar Galactica." Like those shows, these books are surprisingly, effectively human. The story really sticks it to your emotions. I cried a time or two. Then I read in the author's afterword that she named one character after the Orlando nightclub shooting victims, and cried again.
I can't wait for more from Marina Lostetter.