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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
As I've mentioned in other reviews I'm seriously fond of space opera, the more grandiose in scale and complexity the better and this 1st novel in a planned trilogy is frankly brilliant. It delivers on every level with tight plotting, efficient characterisation and compelling world building. The use of a multi threaded narrative, set in multiple time periods delivers a...
Published on 24 Jun 2010 by Ed.F

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A load of old tosh
I gave up after about 80 pages. Lots of thinly-written, slow-moving threads with forgettable characters set in different times and places. I guess eventually the threads begin to link up into some overarching plot, but I got the impression the author knows he's got three books to write and is pacing the story accordingly. I was quite enjoying the thread about the Pilots,...
Published 4 months ago by John W


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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 24 Jun 2010
By 
Ed.F "edz314" (UK) - See all my reviews
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As I've mentioned in other reviews I'm seriously fond of space opera, the more grandiose in scale and complexity the better and this 1st novel in a planned trilogy is frankly brilliant. It delivers on every level with tight plotting, efficient characterisation and compelling world building. The use of a multi threaded narrative, set in multiple time periods delivers a great deal of tension and pace and unusually doesn't get too confusing to follow. Following three primary characters from the dark ages, early 20th century and from 600 years from now, their stories are intertwined with a host of other characters from various time periods around the three main hubs.

The tension and pace ramp up through the book with hints as to the shape of the coming conflict and glimpses of both hidden capabilities and subtle conspiracies. I found myself genuinely gripped with the fates of various characters and found some of the plot twists both totally unexpected and quite moving.

I don't think I can recommend this highly enough. It's the best opener to a space opera trilogy since The Reality Dysfunction. Bravo!
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars John Meaney's Finest, 16 Jun 2010
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Bridget McKenna (Seattle WA USA) - See all my reviews
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I think this is the best novel John Meaney has written to date. It resonates with echoes of some of his earlier novels and short fiction, but while the reader's experience of this book might benefit from having read To Hold Infinity, Paradox, Context, and Resolution, I'm certain that won't be necessary to enjoy it. And if you like science fiction with fascinating characters, exotic yet believable settings, excellent writing, and lots of layers of meaning and action, you will enjoy it a great deal.

Absorption is a richly interwoven narrative that navigates time and space with as much ease and style as one of Meaney's legendary Pilots. It immerses you in elegant complexities of character and story and scene, uniting the lives and destinies of beings from far-flung localities in a cause that leaves the familiar limitations of space and time behind, because the enemies of life are not bound by them. Meaney's villains are powerful, mysterious, well-conceived and downright scary in their ability to infiltrate and twist any reality, including our own.

The overall story is necessarily incomplete until the final volume, but Meaney manages to pause each thread in a satisfying place, while also spinning up new ones to whet the reader's appetite for what's to come. And if what's to come is as good as the first book, it's going to be worth waiting for.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A load of old tosh, 4 Mar 2014
By 
John W (Shropshire) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Absorption (Ragnarok 1) (Paperback)
I gave up after about 80 pages. Lots of thinly-written, slow-moving threads with forgettable characters set in different times and places. I guess eventually the threads begin to link up into some overarching plot, but I got the impression the author knows he's got three books to write and is pacing the story accordingly. I was quite enjoying the thread about the Pilots, and would have liked to read a book about them, but I just couldn't be bothered with all the other tosh.

No sign of the promised high-tech space warfare. And he seemed to be trying to work in Hitler as a character, or as a tool of the darkness, which I didn't like.

In style this is like a combination of the worst bits of Stephen Baxter and Hannu Rajaniemi.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars very good indeed, 12 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Absorption (Ragnarok 1) (Paperback)
I really enjoyed this and its sequel. I am very much looking forward to the third part. There is just the right balance of exciting story and new tech visions.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bit confusing storyline, jumping timelines, 21 Nov 2012
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CjW "chris" (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Absorption (Ragnarok 1) (Paperback)
The storyline is divided into time periods, each told in turn, then around again - it does get a bit confusing.

The book is well written otherwise and its an interesting read - I have the second volume to continue,
I suspect that both must be read to get the full picture; but my least favourite is the Viking era.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb SF, 18 Dec 2010
Proper Science Fiction with an epic scale. This is the real deal...a book that takes modern technologic trends and extrapolates not just one level of future technology but at least four! covering 770AD all the way to 500 million AD. The enemy is a darkness itself, rather like Vernor Vinge's 'A Darkness upon the sky'... the enemy is in the background for this book, behind the scenes vast and malign.

We see Aliens for whom scent and taste are the primary senses, another race that appear to have four active personas at any time, a utopian city who's homes can be reshaped by a thought, sentient stealth ships, an ultra advanced internet and cyber criminals who can hack minds.

John even leads us to consider particle physics - "A Photon, light itself, travels at the speed of light. As things approach lightspeed time slows to nothing... what does this mean? It means photons are timeless, fragments of the initial universe-state untouched and untouchable" (roughly quoted from memory).

Absorbtion makes the Borg look like a prayer meeting and makes the Deathstar look as technological as a viking longboat.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but not accessible to all., 31 Aug 2010
Overall I thoroughly enjoyed Absorption, the pacing is good, the variety of characters and their development is very satisfy
too read about and have unfold and slowly become entangled together but I would voice caution, there are a lot of ideas in
this book to get your head around, I found myself often re-reading whole paragraphs just trying to get to grips with the
ideas that the book was presenting, I don't know if thats down to me being dense or the ideas just taking a bit of thinking
to be pictured and understood in your head. Although if you are comfortable in the space Sci-fi genre then I would highly recommend the book.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Not good enough to persuade me to buy the next one, 2 July 2014
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This review is from: Absorption (Kindle Edition)
Not good enough to persuade me to buy the next one. Any modern western writer reduced to using 1930s German Nazism as an example of supernatural evil simply lacks imagination and is too parochial for my liking. Otherwise, some good sf adventure.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Start, 17 May 2014
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This review is from: Absorption (Kindle Edition)
I enjoyed the breadth of this story. It took awhile for me to get into it and once I did I became immersed in it. Excited to start reading the second book......
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1.0 out of 5 stars Clever gibberish, 19 Mar 2014
By 
Ian Morris (Stoke Bishop, Bristol, GB) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Absorption (Ragnarok 1) (Paperback)
This was the first John Meaney book that I've read and it will be the last. Being a fan of space operas, I was lured by the reviews. However, after assiduously reading about half of the novel, I realised that I had no empathy with any of the multitude of characters and that there was no coherence in the incomprehensible technology being described. I ploughed on valiantly to the end but feel I've wasted several hours of my life. Give me Peter Hamilton any day.
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Absorption (Ragnarok 1)
Absorption (Ragnarok 1) by John Meaney (Paperback - 14 July 2011)
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