- File Size: 1252 KB
- Print Length: 492 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publication Date: February 28, 2012
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B007FAK422
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,114,670 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
The Shattered Sky Kindle Edition
Kindle Feature Spotlight
See the Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
From there the story goes farther, beyond even the Known Nations' turf. Distance dominates this setting because of how huge even this part of the ruined Sphere is; trips get measured in units based on old Earth's circumference. That size leaves plenty of room for strange cultures and species including space squid, "orcs", and unnerving (yet friendly) tarantula swarms. There's magic here too, based on an elaborate concept of pervasive nanotech that people are still re-learning how to command. The world feels like a role-playing game's setting, in the positive sense that you could wander in any direction and run into an adventure. There's even a ready-made sort of vast dungeon-crawl experience that we see a few times, mixed with first contacts and war and politics and religion and Gossamyr's painful personal story.
My main gripe is that the book would benefit from another round of copy-editing; eg. is it the "Megashard" or the "MegaShard"? Sometimes the typos get distracting. I'd also like to see more of the other civilizations that are only mentioned in passing or in the many asides, but that's something for a sequel.
I like a good world-building book and this one serves that role well. Niven should be pleased that this sort of book is something he inspired.
Have you ever read a book that was so amazing, so engrossing, so spellbinding, that when you finished it, you felt like you were leaving a part of yourself behind in that book? That it almost hurt to put it down?
This is how "The Shattered Sky" made me feel.
Set over 100,000 years in the future, human civilization had advanced to the point where the entire Solar System was deconstructed and remade into the Eden Sphere: an unimaginably huge Dyson Sphere: an internal habitat surrounding the sun. But somewhere along the line, for an unknown reason, the Eden Sphere was shattered into countless shards, each containing their own individual environments, each many times the size of the planet, leaving the sentient races: humans and their descendants through genetic manipulation and uplift, to fend for themselves. Most regressed into a primitive state, but a few others discovered the secrets of the "Builders" and began the long climb back to a state of technological superiority, and now scour the sphere for other friendly civilizations in a desperate search for secrets to save their world.
And so the stage is set, on the Megashard, one of the largest of the fragments of the Eden sphere, a vast world thousands of times the size of Earth. "The Shattered Sky" is told through the eyes of Gossamyr, part of a race of human/bat hybrids called Myotans, who live in a somewhat primitive society around a massive Builder-made tower. Gossamyr's life is changed forever with the arrival of humans from distant lands, and thus begins an adventure that exceeded my wildest imaginings.
To be as succinct as possible, "The Shattered Sky" is one of the best works of literature I've had the pleasure to read in a long time. And I don't say this lightly. Very few works have had the same impact on me. In Lucas's writing, there exists a near-perfect balance of the massive amounts of intriguing scientific concepts, as well as ultra-advanced tech based on actual scientific theories (including, but not limited to nanotech, genetic chimeras, and uplift a-la David Brin) and principles with a wonderfully character-driven plot with an amount of heart that never once feels contrived or out of place.
I am also not ashamed to admit that this is the only other book I can recall offhand to make me cry (the first being the final book of the Harry Potter series). This alone cemented my love of this book. Few characters have ever endeared me to themselves the way that Gossamyr has, and I had not realized the level emotional investment that I had put into her until an event in the middle of the book. To avoid spoilers, the event was what can only be described the perfect storm of hell. And it completely broke my heart.
And I NEVER bawl.
And I felt that pain throughout the remainder of the book.
Of course, there is far more to love about this book than just Gossamyr and "DEM FEELS." The cast of characters in this story is incredibly diverse, and from different species and cultures, some so foreign and alien to us that some time is taken to explain them, from baseline humans, to winged myotans, playful otterkin, the savage Xinque, and my personal favorite, the creepy, networked intelligence of the Spider Swarms (think a biological version of "Mass Effect"'s Geth race, but composed of "colonies" of ten or more cat-sized tarantulas), no space is wasted on them. Even those whose stories were mentioned in passing seemed carefully sculpted, living, breathing entities amidst technology of breathtaking complexity and intriguing sci-fi elements found in classics such as Frank Herbert's Dune Series, Larry Niven's Ringworld, Gene Wolfe's Book of the New Sun, and David Brin's Uplift Universe, but rendered in ways that they nearly blur the line between sci-fi and fantasy.
And it was this harmonious synergy of setting, plot, content and characterization that made me realize why I loved the book so much. It is nothing less than a masterpiece of world-building. The Megashard is more than just a remnant of unimaginably advanced technology; It is a living, breathing world, with fascinating flora, fauna, technology so advanced it is akin to magic, and civilizations built of many races born of lost sciences. I've read books where authors have been amazingly creative in their use of worldbuilding, creating entire planets such as Anne McCaffrey's Pern and Tolkien's Middle Earth, but the unique level of diversity of life, climate, and environments in this book, taking place in a habitat the size of over a thousand earths (a fact that is never forgotten, as the book subtly reminds the reader of its size) takes it several steps beyond even those revered veteran authors. And every aspect is handled with the greatest of care and skill, showcasing Mr. Lucas's true level of talent.
Of course a book is not a book without a plot, and equivalent to Mr. Lucas's level of imagination and skill is the fluidity and absorbency of the plot. There is not a moment wasted or insignificant. There is action, intrigue, romance, tragedy, and even comedic moments aplenty. Not a page is wasted on anything that would even be remotely considered "boring." There are multiple "out-of-the-frying-pan-and-into-the-fire" moments that will keep the reader on the edge of his/her proverbial seat, as well as softer, more introspective moments are masterfully interspersed in between them in order to give the reader time to breathe before the next incident/crisis. It's not a book that keeps one guessing what will happen next; rather, it is one that never fails to exceed the reader's expectations in what does happen next. And the danger escalates into a climax that puts the highest stakes on the line.
And this leads to my only two criticisms. If there is any sort of criticism at all I feel I must lay down. The first is a common problem that I've noticed among self-published works, of which this is one. And that is the existence of more typos than what exists in professionally-published works. A book of this caliber deserves to be presented to the public with its best foot forward, containing as few mistakes as humanly possible. In its current state, the typos can occasionally get in the way. Early on, they are sporadic, and only a minor nuisance, but nearer to the end, they tend to pop up more frequently, and may potentially turn off pickier readers. Aside from that, the only other problem I have is not really a problem at all. And this is that the book ends with many unanswered questions. This seems to suggest that there will someday be a sequel, but the world that Mr. Lucas has built is so enthralling and engrossing that the thought of waiting for that next story to be published can feel almost unbearable to the reader that has just been captivated by this epic tale.
In conclusion, I am irrevocably in love with this book, and I hope to see a sequel soon. I myself burn with so many of those unanswered questions that I know it just can't end there.
I have an occasional correspondence with Mr. Lucas, and once again, as I told him, My highest gratitude and congratulations go out to him for this stellar book. I am unsure as to how much readership it has garnered, but it deserves all the notoriety it can get. I am a picky reader, and this book was nothing short of an experience for me that still has me spellbound two days after having finished it. As I also told Mr. Lucas, I am eternally grateful to have read it. In all honesty, five stars just isn't enough. It is my hope that this book gains a massive readership. Others need to know about this magnificent work. One thing I can say is that for any sci-fi enthusiast, this is a must-buy, and one that none will regret having purchased.