- Series: Revelation Space (Book 3)
- Mass Market Paperback: 704 pages
- Publisher: Ace (May 25, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 044101173X
- ISBN-13: 978-0441011735
- Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.4 x 6.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (118 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #363,238 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Redemption Ark (Revelation Space) Mass Market Paperback – May 25, 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
With this complex, thoughtful sequel to his highly praised Revelation Space (2001), British author Reynolds confirms his place among the leaders of the hard-science space-opera renaissance. Spreading from star to star, humanity has split into different, competing factions. Late in the 26th century, the group-mind Conjoiners are defeating their main rivals, the Demarchists. Unfortunately, the Conjoiners' space exploration has attracted the notice of an ancient swarm of machines that calls itself the Inhibitors and that exists to destroy all biological intelligence. The Conjoiners don't believe they can fight this new foe, so they intend to run away and let the Inhibitors wipe out the other human tribes. One Conjoiner warrior, the centuries-old Clavain, rebels against this heartless tactic, but he must negotiate with a fragmented, distrustful mob of possible allies while pursued by his former cohorts. The novel forces readers to process an outrageous amount of information-but that's only fair, since the characters are challenged to do the same. As they extend themselves outward, they also have a chance to gain more understanding of themselves as human beings and more ability to interact meaningfully. It's rare to find a writer with sufficient nerve and stamina to write novels that are big enough to justify using words like "revelation" and "redemption." Reynolds pulls it off.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Reynolds' latest is a large, sprawling tale of war, politics, ideology (including religion), and alien invasion. It starts with the return to base, after 200 years, of an exploration ship filled with corpses. Its central characters are the investigators trying to find what or who killed the ship's occupants: A human (using the term loosely) enemy? Aliens? A nanotech plague? As the investigation proceeds, Reynolds introduces a galaxy's worth of technology and politics, the latter including the faction fight that gives the book its title. Like Reynolds' previous books, this one can be considered a technothriller set in the future, with technology extrapolated from the current states of biotech and artificial intelligence. Human nature is not envisioned as having changed much at all, however, no matter how much intelligence may be augmented. Despite a quite intricate plot, skilled narrative technique and well-developed characters make this a novel most readers will find absorbing and comprehensible. Roland Green
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top customer reviews
Revelation Space established Reynold's take on a possible future, grounded in his knowledge of science. It was a great piece of world building, and I enjoyed it quite a lot. This one, on the other hand. Oh, dear.
About half way through I got the distinct impression he had exactly one book in him. This one is riddled with endless exposition and some of the worst dialog I can remember having read. It needed several editorial passes, at least 20% pruning of content, and some serious reworking of the dialog and interpersonal relationships. The world building is still there, the science fiction is still really good, but I found the actual storytelling to be sorely lacking. There was a place in the book where it seems he ran out of steam on a story thread, and rather violently jerked the characters onto a different thread. It was a move akin to deus ex machina to collect the necessary characters in the same place.
I almost gave up on it, but after a month of persevering I finally finished. It was my second, and last, Reynolds book.
But it's not going to be a simple race - the weapons are being held in the Delta Pavonis system by the damaged ship Nostalgia for Infinity. The dread machines are already there and are in the process of taking apart the entire system. The much-reduced crew of the ship is working on a plan to evacuate the planet before the Inhibitors can complete their work, a plan that includes their own use of the powerful weapons.
Although it's not immediately obvious, Redemption Ark is a sequel to Reynolds's first novel, Revelation Space. A dark space opera with a grand scale and realistic science, the book has an interesting film-noir feel. None of the characters are entirely sympathetic and this future is definitely not a shiny feel-good place. However, it is full of fascinating technology and interesting people. The characterization is fairly good - definitely more than one-dimensional, although sometimes the motivations seem a little off.
Redemption Ark suffers a bit from middle-book malady. While it's action packed and chock full of challenging concepts, the ending is disappointing - it feels rushed, nothing is really resolved, and you?re stuck waiting for the next book. There are also several points where the book builds up to what should be frenzied action sequences and then instead of the actual action, you get a passive recap that throws a wrench into the pacing. However, I do like the universe that Reynolds has created and I'm looking forward to the sequel.