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4.4 out of 5 stars17
4.4 out of 5 stars
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John Meaney is one of those authors that you either love or hate. I love the guys writing, the hard combat, the speed of thought and the idea's that seem to keep flying around and hitting you like neutrino's. It's cleverly plotted and of course it has a pace that few authors can manage to keep up with let alone emulate.

Add to this an almost adult by the hand guide through the work as it wends it way through numerous characters and timelines as well as a great use of prose and it's a title that I absolutely adored as there's something for everyone within be it good old fashioned Scandinavian mythology or even an honour system alongside a dark future.

All in this is a cracking piece of fiction and a pure joy to read, just prepare to leave grip marks within the titles pages.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 23 January 2012

First let me start this by saying i really am not a fan of Sci-fi, i will watch it, but cant really read it. I think most of the authors are amazingly talented and have imaginations that are bizarre and inspiring, after all that's how we have Star Trek, Star Wars, Dr Who, etc..

So when i got this book to review i groaned but at the same time i knew i had to read the book, getting a freebie deserves the decency of a read.

John Meaney's writing came across as edgy, exciting, fast paced and well plotted, it wasn't the depth of the last sci-fi series i read (Otherland by Tad Williams) but it was still very clever, weaving some mythology alongside the authors fantastic imagination.

I actually enjoyed this, would i buy another of his books? No probably not, but that's just me and Sci-fi, but i can see anyone who liked the genre giving this 4 stars + (so i will do the same).

Product Description

The second volume of Meaney's epic Ragnarok space opera trilogy. The dark matter in the universe is alive and is seeking to pervert human history to its own ends. Its influence has reached back into the dark ages, to the centre of the 3rd Reich and 600 years into the future. The Ragnarok universe not only provides a stunning SF rationale for Norse mythology but posits a world where pilots are locked into symbiotic relationships with their ships and the cities can come alive.
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on 17 February 2012
I love John Meaney's way with ideas and lanuguage; I always approach a new Meaney book with anticipation of a towering story, fascinating characters, lots and lots of suspense, and confidence that I'm in good hands; eventually, every thread in the web in which he's snagged the reader is going to be recognized as part of an exciting and ultimately satisying larger pattern.

Ragnarok is more than a web--it's a tapestry with designs so engaging that I forget to see the individual threads Meaney uses to construct it. Two volumes in, it's a work of amazing craftsmanship that I suspect I may only fully recognize it when I've finally turned the last page of the last book.

How will a young berserker from the 7th century AD, a physicist from the mid-20th century and her 21st centuy grandson, a 27th century Pilot and his Ship, a young Seeker with no memory from our far future, and a host of other captivating characters play their parts in a battle to keep all of spacetime from being subsumed by a ravening Darkness that devours millions of minds at a time? Certainly there are few answers in this second volume, and none that are not woven into even bigger questions. What there is is lots of good writing and storytelling and character development and forward motion that will have me queueing up for the next volume.

I'm a little disappointed there's no US Kindle edition of either this or the previous volume. Gollancz should get on that.
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on 10 July 2013
This was a great continuation from Absorption. I really enjoyed it and wish the next in the series was available, but it's not been released yet!

This is a great author, very original and great science fiction ideas. I love all the different story lines and the characters are all brilliantly described and written.

A great science fiction book, I wish there was more like this.
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on 25 April 2013
The good things about this book is the science. It is vey up to date with recent research, as far as I can tell. Then we follow several people at different times in history, and their stories are somewhat interesting, but it is not very well knitted together in the end, and the ending is very disappointing. It seems like the author ran out of steam.
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on 4 June 2013
I enjoyed this but thought there was just suggestion that the plot was getting a little thin at the end, I agree with a previous reviewer that we are not a lot further forward from book 1. I look forward to book 3 and hope it will nicely finish off all the plot threads.
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This is the second book in Meaney's Ragnarok trilogy, and if you enjoyed the earlier book, Absorption (Ragnarok 1), published in 2010, I think you'll like this too. Both books are fairly similar - both deploy a startling range of characters across multiple timeframes, ranging from the eighth century (Viking warrior Ulfr) to the Second World War and after (chiefly Gavi, a German Jewish refugee scientist working at Bletchley Park) and the far future (scenes set in the 27th century are only a stepping stone: there are also events in 5568AD and 502019AD (the latter looking forward another half a million years)

Again, most of the significant characters are being attacked by, or fighting back against, the mysterious Darkness (though a couple seem to be tainted by it). The nature of this enemy is still unclear, as are the exact relationships between the characters (though there are clear crossovers and linkages) but the bigger picture is now beginning to emerge, both in hints (significant names, family relationships, reported history) about how the various storylines may combine and in the direct echoes between the storylines. The trilogy resembles a vast, canvas where small details become more significant in light of the overall design. Some things are now explained (for example, the nature of the troll that attacked Ulfr's party in Absorption) while others are still mysterious (such as the ultimate relevance of Sharp's people) and some new threads are added (a new race, seemingly alien, but which might be far future humans).

It is perhaps a pity that this book wasn't published last year, since there is a lot of detail in Absorption that it helps to remember in reading Transmission. Meaney does repeat the main points, but I would advise rereading the earlier book if you can.

This is though an excellent story, filled with mind bending concepts. Just to name a few, Meaney weaves in resonances - both in nature and in the story structure - the Second World War, the history of martial arts, hypnotism, neurolinguistic programming, wave-particle duality and cryptography. He seems to be equally at home with Viking runes and advanced physics. In all, an excellent, engaging read. I'm looking forward to the final part of the trilogy Untitled Meaney 3 of 3 (I hope I don't have to wait another two years for it though!)

What else? Well, I think family names are important in this trilogy, so keep an eye out for them. And I think Meaney shows excellent timing in his concept of "mu space" - pronounced "moo" not "mew" - which enables faster-than-light travel through some kind of mysterious extra dimensions with fractal geometry - given the recent CERN experiments that seem to show faster than light neutrinos.

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VINE VOICEon 30 June 2013
I enjoyed the book.
Some themes seem to come from another book I've read, but as I've read hundreds, can't place it.

Good concepts and a good read though.
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on 9 November 2012
I thought `Absorption' was ambitious, trying to cram five independent narrative threads into a few hundred pages but it seems that Meaney was just warming up. In volume two the reader is catapulted straight back into the worlds of Roger, Gavriela, Ulfr and Rekka & the shiny bloke but not being content with just consolidating the characters and very gradually weaving the threads together, Meaney introduces another thread and a lot more secondary characters and interwoven labyrinthine plot lines to the existing threads. It requires more than average concentration to keep track of it all but rather than being a chore, I found the depth & complexity thoroughly engaging - shallow it is most definitely not.

The pace of the first volume now seems positively stately compared to volume two; Meaney's masterly prose continues to avoid insulting (or confusing) the reader's intelligence with pace-killing info dumps and the chapters are just the right length being longer during character & plot development and shorter & punchy when the action hots-up. There is always so much either gently hinted-at, imminent or actually going-on that the novel attained the ultimate accolade - becoming un-put-down-able, even after a long & tiring day.

I`m more than eagerly awaiting the third volume to bring everything together, but when it does eventually become available, I'll definitely have to re-read the first two volumes beforehand - there's no chance of me remembering the story so far in sufficient detail to do the final instalment justice.

On the strength of Ragnarok Volumes 2 & 1 alone, Meaney is worthy of a position on the masters of modern science fiction podium alongside Banks & Reynolds; I just wish I'd discovered him sooner as a lot of his earlier works are out of print.
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on 31 January 2012
This is the second part of Meaney's Ragnarok trilogy and it just keeps getting better. I am a huge fan of all his work including the Tristopolis novels and the novels Edge and Point. His writing style is unique and flows like nothing else. When I first read Paradox I was sucked into this universe completely and every novel that returns to it can't come quickly enough.

This volume picks up right where the last left off and all the story strands are as compelling as the first novel. Normally with sf stories there is a strand that I don't enjoy as much; not so with Mr Meaney. All the characters are so well drawn that you really care about them and it is a joy to return to their strand to find out what is happening to them.

I know this review is a bit lacking in story details, but I really don't want to give any plot points away. If you've been waiting for this volume then you don't need any encouragement from me. If you haven't read The first volume then buy them both and prepare to be enthralled by the authors prose and imagination. Take your time with volume 3 Mr Meaney, I don't mind waiting for what i'm sure will be an amazing climax to a wonderful series.
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