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Empire of Light Hardcover – 2 Jul 2010


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Tor (2 July 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0230706819
  • ISBN-13: 978-0230706811
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 3.4 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 445,874 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Prior to becoming a professional writer, Gary Gibson worked for an environmental agency, but left shortly after other members of staff attempted to levitate a local bridge as a protest against road traffic.

Following this, he worked as a graphic designer for a printing firm that turned out to be run by a gang of convicted forgers, hastening his departure, and then for a small publishing company otherwise notable only for producing a Freddie Mercury impersonator well-known on the Scottish cabaret circuit. Until recently he resided in Taipei with his wife, and is pleased to say that the only lunatic he has to answer to these days is himself.

He has a blog at www.garygibson.net.

Product Description

Review

`Gripping, imaginative and morally complex... This is page-turning SF with a distinctive identity and brutal, stylish action sequences, all of which adds up to a compulsive read... A sharp, distinctive piece of sci-fi, an Gibson has certainly proved himself a name to watch out for.' --Four stars, SFX magazine

Book Description

The nova war has begun to spread as the Emissaries wage a fierce and reckless campaign, encroaching on the area of space occupied by humanity and forcing the Shoal into a desperate retreat. While Dakota goes in search of the entity responsible for creating the Maker caches, Corso, left in charge of a fleet of human-piloted Magi ships, finds his authority crumbling in the face of assassination attempts and politically-motivated sabotage. If any hope exists at all, it lies in an abandoned asteroid a thousand light-years beyond the Consortium's borders, and with Ty Whitecloud, the only man alive with the skill to decipher the messages left behind by an ancient race of star travellers. Unfortunately Whitecloud is locked in a prison cell aboard a dying coreship adrift in space, awaiting execution for war crimes against Corso's own people. But if humanity has any hope of survival, Corso is going to have to find some way to keep him alive - and that's only if Dakota doesn't kill him first ... --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Roderick Head on 28 Sept. 2010
Format: Hardcover
I enjoy "Space Opera" and hard SF. This book was the final part of three and well worth the read. A blizzard of thought provoking ideas. Laced through with a good plot and good ending.
Only a small moan, don't let it put you off. When the plot led to an impossible cul de sac the villain or hero would somehow gain a sometimes implausible new gift or relevant info. This never being covered in the proceeding pages.
Never the less a cracking read, which leaves one waiting more from the author.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Timothy Hammond on 28 Oct. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having enjoyed the first two books, this was a massive disappointment. So many threads left dangling, so much that was far too easy, so little explanation of what is going on.

Very little of the story makes sense. There's a weapon that can destroy FTL drives. Our heroes find it rather easily, even though the god-like Makers have been searching for it for millennia. And the weapon destroys 80% of the Emissaries' Fleet. Instantaneously. And rather wonderfully Trader provides Dakota with weapons and shields from a vanished civilisation that are much better than anything the Magi ships have and which mean she can invade Emissary space to launch the weapon. Oh, and the Emissaries can track Dakota through some technology that nobody thought to tell anybody about before. Planted by Hugh for reasons that are never given. And Trader has been on an expedition to the Greater Magellenic Cloud and found out how to work the weapon. But he didn't tell anybody. Deus ex machina indeed.

At the end, we still don't really understand the Makers or why they are leaving caches all over the place, we don't meet the Emissaries at all (except in battle) and so get no further with what they are about and there are hinted at links between the Makers and the Atn that never go anywhere. And the Magi? and the makers of the weapon? Who knows?

For good measure, there's some sort of nonsense about the weapon only working for the just or the not so bad or something that is never explained. And Lucas becomes really good at fighting and Dakota dies twice. But she's alive at the end again. Or something.

I don't really know what wrong here. Having set up great situation, Gibson seems to have completely run out of ideas as to how he's going to resolve it.
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By Diziet TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 12 July 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The third book in the Gary Gibson's 'Shoal Sequence' trilogy (the other two being first 'Stealing Light' and then 'Nova War') provides a pretty good 'grand finale' while still just about leaving room for a new series.

Initially, the multiple narrative strands left hanging in the previous instalment are continued, but slowly these are completed and the main part of the book turns into a quest and, to some extent, a murder mystery. In fact, this section took so long, I was beginning to despair as the end of the book approached and no conclusion seemed in sight. But Gibson deftly stitched up most of the loose threads into a generally satisfying end.

Most of the characters who survived the previous book are here - besides the central figures of Dakota Merrick and Lucas Corso, we meet 'Trader' again and, all too briefly, the wonderfully horrible Hugh Moss. The murderous 'Emissaries' are here but happily not in person, along with the Atn, the Magi ships and the Maker. So, all in all, a thoroughly rumbustious Space Opera on a galaxy-wide grand scale (as the finest Space Operas should be); a hint of Götterdämmerung, the occasional near-apocalypse, generally fast-paced narrative, weird and wonderful aliens, twisting and turning (but consistent) plots and sub-plots, bizarrely advanced technology - all in all a cracking good read. Thank-you Mr Gibson. :-)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J Harrington on 6 Sept. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having finally finished reading all three books I can happily say that it was well worth the read. Although I found the story line became patchy in places the overall storyline made it a difficult book to put down. The main thing I found annoying was the number of spelling mistakes through out all three books (not that my spelling is any better) but I guess when proof reading 600 page books a few are going to slip the net. Over all a very good read and I'll be looking out for more books written by Gary Gibson in the future
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Ed.F TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 3 Aug. 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A really pacey and gripping finale to the Shoal Sequence trilogy. I love space opera and in this series Gibson has really delivered in terms of a very believable universe, genuinely threatening technologies, great characterisation and a nice new re-tread of that hoary old trope of "ancient evil".

I was especially pleased with his near indestructible (or rather all to destructable but not permanently) Heroine Dakota Merrick and the seriously slimy Trader in faecal matter of animals. Characters like these are all to rare in space opera as they have a touch of whimsy to offset the usual portentous "end of the world" plot lines which are woven around them.

The plot lines are nicely woven into a satisfying conclusion, with the epilogue providing us hints that at least one of the characters will have a handsome run in another series. First class stuff.
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By Keen Reader TOP 100 REVIEWER on 26 Nov. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I admit it took me a while to get to this third book in the trilogy - didn't really find myself compelled to leap to it and read it after having read the first two books. All in all, and I think I find myself reviewing the trilogy as a whole here, I found it all rather disappointing. Great premise, could have been a great story - but just never quite got there. I still find it reminiscent, but sadly nowhere near as good as, Simon Green's Deathstalker series. But in this series, I just never found myself giving a damn about the characters. I really couldn't care whether the `good' guys won or not. The potential of the storyline, and the grand epic sweep and feel which was set up relatively well in the first book just never lived up to its promise. Sadly underwhelming overall.
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