- Mass Market Paperback: 544 pages
- Publisher: Eos; Reprint edition (1 Mar. 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0061020265
- ISBN-13: 978-0061020261
- Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.8 x 17.1 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,262,472 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Superluminal: A Novel of Interplanetary Civil War Mass Market Paperback – 1 Mar 2005
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Top Customer Reviews
It is hard sci-fi at its best, with the author occasionally taking time-out to explain the physics behind the story. Sometimes this physics is cutting edge theory, other times it is pure speculation. The genius is that it is difficult sometimes to spot the join between the two. Saying that, the only thing I found difficult to envisage was the concept of a 'web' of planets.
My only concern is that this should be a series of 3 books, and the future of the final part is in the balance. If you are reading this Mr Daniels, I would urge you to take up your pen once more and finish this outstanding piece of work.
I'd forgotten how complex the first book was, until I read this book. It's such a compelling story, with an incredibly futuristic and colourful solar system. It's a rollercoaster ride that just keeps on going, with unimaginable twists and turns.
My only disappointment was that it seemed a little short.
The last part of the book is an appendix providing a list of all characters and technical background, etc. Read this first before you start. I only found it when I came to the end. Wish I'd seen it first as I dithered over whether to reread metaplanetary first and didn't (remembering that there were multiple, interlinked story lines).
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Update, 22 Feb 2007: Sadly, there is still no word regarding the next (and, I would hope, concluding) book in this series. The first two books (Metaplanetary and Superluminal) succeeded in creating a fascinating future world, with intriguing characters and a captivating storyline. I want to know how it ends! Make no mistake, it's well worth reading these two books, even if the third never takes form. However, like many other readers, I seriously hope the author and publisher eventually get around to concluding the series and closing the story arc. I'm ready to pre-order!
My issue is with the publisher. They're pulling the same shoddy trick they tried with the first volume of the series, Metaplanetary. Just as that book was ruined for many readers because nowhere on the cover did it state that it was the first novel in a series, anyone who hasn't read the first book could pick up this second volume with the expectation that they're starting a stand-alone novel. The only place the true nature of Superluminal is mentioned is in the author's bio on the inside back cover.
This is clearly intentional on the publisher's part, but you have to wonder why are they doing it? Why are they positioning these two novels as stand-alones, rather than as parts of a series? Guess they just don't believe in the power of the entire trilogy to sell itself. This is just stupid!
On the positive side, Tony Daniel succeeds in making Director Ames a truly creepy entity and his characterization of a semisentient jeep was well done. On the other hand, several of the other characters are not as well fleshed out. Also, in juggling many plot lines at once, the author tends to focus on just a few and leaves the rest too bare. Considering that there were around a hundred pages worth of appendices that space would have been better utilized on the minor characters and their storylines.
Hopefully, the author's next project will be successful enough so that he can revisit this universe and provide a proper conclusion.
My only criticism, and it's a weak one, is that the complexity and the presentation might make it difficult to keep track of all of those interweaving threads if the book were read over an extended period. I doubt that "extended" will be an issue for most readers. In any case, there are convenient appendices in the back to refresh one's memory on the characters and locations as needed.
So imagine my dismay when I went looking for information on the sequel and discovered that there wasn't one planned! Thanks, EOS (Or did I already say that?). I sincerely hope that the author finds an outlet for the last book. It's a story that deserves to be told. Oh - this is not a warning against purchasing the book. It's worth it even without a conclusion. There's more than enough intriguing material here to serve as a good start for imagining your own.
These events, along with Director Ames's further scheming to co-opt all of humanity, make Superluminal an easy page-turner. Unfortunately, Daniel's character development is hit and miss. He does a wonderful job delving into the burgeoning romance of a free-convert (all 1's and 0's) and aspect (flesh and blood)...but then lacks development of characters on other fronts...like Aubry and Jill...their lives as partisans fighting against Ames were skipped over almost completely.
What it all boils down to is a fun read...unfortunately, the depth Daniel's does show in his characters is hardly enough to sate readers but on the most cursory of levels. This being said, I do look forward to a continuation? ending? to Daniel's story.