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26 Reviews
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Personal view
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...
Published on 28 Sep 2010 by Mr. Roderick Head

versus
21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars What a disappointment
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...
Published on 28 Oct 2011 by Timothy Hammond


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Personal view, 28 Sep 2010
By 
Mr. Roderick Head "Hard SF guy" (London England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Empire of Light (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
1.0 out of 5 stars What a disappointment, 28 Oct 2011
By 
Timothy Hammond (London UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Empire of Light (Shoal Sequence) (Paperback)
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. Instead he pretty much rewrites the back story so as to provide solutions to all the problems he has created - oh, didn't I tell you that I have the control programme/brilliant weapons/tracking devices/location of Excalibur? He descends into sub-fantasy with his magic weapon that is only for the virtuous and chickens out of having his main characters die.

A real shame, as Nova War set up the conclusion so well. Two stars because if you have read the others, you have to read this one, otherwise on a stand-alone basis 0 or 1.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A gripping finale with hints of more to come, 3 Aug 2010
By 
Ed.F "edz314" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Empire of Light (Hardcover)
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shoal Trilogy, 6 Sep 2012
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This review is from: Empire of Light (Shoal Sequence) (Paperback)
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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4.0 out of 5 stars Galaxy spanning space opera, 12 Feb 2014
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D. J. Ketchin "living in books" (Edinburgh Uk) - See all my reviews
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Nicely written space opera - dealing with the consequence of superscience and competeing species.

Very like Alastair Reynolds Revelation Space series. Would recommend it to anyone who was a reynolds fan.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very readable, 9 Dec 2013
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I really don't like having to write all these words. I think it is an imposition. However, I did enjoy the Shoal series and wanted to acknowledge it so am stuck with Amazon's ridiculous dictum of writing a minimum of 20 words.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I have read all three of the trilogy, 9 Aug 2013
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I really enjoyed this book and am looking forward to reading the fourth in the series. Gary Gibson is fast becoming one of my favourite sci-fi authors, having been brought up with Charles Clarke and Isaac Azimoff.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A good way to end the series, 10 July 2013
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An exciting and entertaining ending to the series. An enjoyable sci fi read. This whole series has been easy going and fun to read. :)
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4.0 out of 5 stars Bought this as present, 13 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Empire of Light (Shoal Sequence) (Paperback)
bought this as a present- the recipient was very pleased as it's part of a series. The book arrived in good time and was well priced.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A good read, 17 Dec 2012
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This was one of my first Kindle books. I believe the first one was a free book. Book two was well worth the money. The story continues to widen and bring in new characters and some very interesting civilisations to say the least as well as expanding the story line. Its probably fair to say it is space Opera, with the writing not of the high standard expected by some. But then it is an excellent casual read of science fiction for the money.
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Empire of Light (Shoal Sequence)
Empire of Light (Shoal Sequence) by Gary Gibson (Paperback - 5 Aug 2011)
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