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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Decent ending to ambitious trilogy
This is the final part of a trilogy, following Absorption and Transmission.

If you have read them, you'll pretty much know what to expect.

If you haven't, this is an ambitious trilogy, spanning the time period between the 8th century and the 6000th, describing the infiltration of our Galaxy by a darkness and the efforts of humanity, and various alien...
Published 11 months ago by D. Harris

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3.0 out of 5 stars Very complex and rich but sometimes rushed.
The trilogy taken as a whole is excellent and as others have said its best to read them one after another or you'll lose track of characters and nuances in the many plot lines running through the story, as with some other complex space opera's this would benefit from a companion book to refer to while your reading as the final part in particular is hard to follow in some...
Published 7 months ago by gavv8


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Decent ending to ambitious trilogy, 12 Jan 2014
By 
D. Harris (Oxford, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Resonance (Ragnarok 3) (Paperback)
This is the final part of a trilogy, following Absorption and Transmission.

If you have read them, you'll pretty much know what to expect.

If you haven't, this is an ambitious trilogy, spanning the time period between the 8th century and the 6000th, describing the infiltration of our Galaxy by a darkness and the efforts of humanity, and various alien species, to resist it. There are many, many characters, often related to each other - sometimes the links are clear, sometimes only hinted at - and themes, such as Norse mythology and the concept of Ragnarrok that runs throughout. It is well written, incredibly diverse, and generally compulsive reading. I'd urge you to go and read the first two books now, and in fact to read the three books one after another because the downside of all that detail is that there's a lot to forget if you leave too long between them. DON'T read any more of this review because it may become slightly spoilery for the first two books.

If you are still with me, as I said above, this book is very similar in format to the others - separate sections narrating the stories of Roger Blackstone, the young Pilot; of Ulfr, the 8th century Viking warrior; of Gavriella, Lucas her grandson, and so on. We also hear more of the World, whose story finally (but only just!) links up with the main narrative, of how the Schenk family came to embrace the darkness, of the origins of the Pilots, the Ragnarok Council and the nature of Kenna. And much more - a number of new characters crop up, nicely bridging the lengthy periods that separate the different viewpoints. Meaney also takes the story into new places, such as Le Carré-esque scenes set in postwar Berlin or a tender friendship between Gavriella and her old colleague Rupert. So while the book is similar to the others, it is extending its scope, right to the end.

Which is perhaps a slight problem. Meaney's scope was already vast, in space (both mu and real), time (those 600,000 years!) and theme. Inevitably, therefore, many of the strands can only be briefly addressed before he has to hurry on to the next, and while they are all resolved, I did feel the pace was somewhat rushed. We didn't, for example, get as much detail or identification with any of the characters or situations as we do with Roger in "Absorption". In many places, there are three or four page chapters here that could have been whole books in themselves. Crucially, that includes some key actors or themes - such as the darkness itself. Yes, it's a threat, yes, identified somehow with dark matter (as the blurb makes clear) - but what is it trying to achieve, and why?

The positive way to put that might be to say that the book makes demands of its reader, to understand and join up the themes over the millennia, to spot the clues, to see the pattern.

It's perhaps a delicate balance and for me, didn't quite come off - but it may for others.

That shouldn't be taken as criticism: as I said above, this is a very ambitious trilogy. It is so ambitious that one can hardly complain if it doesn't quite get there - it is still impressive in what it does achieve.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Satisfying Conclusion, 26 Dec 2013
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Amazon Customer (GREENWOOD, SC, US) - See all my reviews
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Space opera this may be, but it is top quality space opera, well written, stimulating, eminently readable yet intelligent, on a galactic scale.
John Meaney has succeeded in wrapping up the Ragnarok trilogy via this satisfying finale. I was engrossed, reading into the early hours to see what happened. But now I've read it there is a sad hole in my life: where are the other contemporary works of quality SF to brighten my evenings?
Those who are new to Mr Meaney had better start with the earlier works - Paradox, Context and Resolution in the Nulapeiron sequence and Absorption and Transmission, the preceding parts of the Ragnarok trilogy. (The two trilogies take place in the same universe, and elements from the earlier Nulapeiron opus appear in Ragnarok.)
If I were to be picky, I'd have liked to have heard a little more self-disclosure from the Darkness, or Admiral Schenck, perhaps during an attempted diplomacy by the pilots or Kenna, and it would also have been in the pilots' interest to make more effort to forge an alliance with the Zajinets.
If you've enjoyed Meaney's works then you might also enjoy The Quantum Thief and Ancillary Justice.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Way to finish an well written trilogy, 7 Feb 2014
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S. Earl - See all my reviews
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I came across the Ragnarok series back in 2011 and have waited eagerly for each of the subsequent books to be released. With the release of the 3rd and final instalment I was eager to see where and how this time spanning story would be wrapped up. I haven't been disappointed, the whole cycle has been well written bringing real depth and detail to each of the major characters and their situations and drawing them all into a finale worthy of the rest of the series. The writing style has reminded me of Peter F Hamilton and his vast sweeping books and I look forward to reading more of John's work.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A challenging read, 20 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Resonance (Ragnarok 3) (Paperback)
As a conclusion to a trilogy this ticks all the boxes. Despite the complexity of the multiple timelines and characters Meaney brings the potential ragarnok to a satisfying end. I hadn't managed to reread the other books while waiting for the final volume so I found it a challenging read as I tried to remember the various characters that were interacting with the main characters in each era. There is a great attention to detail in the contextual detailing of each timeline that brings each one to life and makes the reader invest in the characters and their lived experience, very different from the cardboard cut out characters often encountered in other works of this breadth and scope. The nod to the earlier Nulaperion trilogy was also welcome and reintroduced some favourite characters.
A very good read and recommended, but with the caveat that this is not a standalone book!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ties up loose ends, 10 Jan 2014
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Nicely ties up lots of loose ends in the series but I suppose inevitably given the scale of the struggle the ending is slightly anti-climatic and feels somewhat rushed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars very fine science fiction, 1 Jan 2014
By 
Malcolm Roy Ash (Aston-by-Stone, Staffs United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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Its reassuring tob see that the genre still has the capability to surprise and inspire the reader with great ideas and unique plot concepts. At least in the right hands. There ius some great action, tense plotting, wonderful science and interesting characters. The whole series has been terrific. Thank heaven there are are still writers who can explore the frontiers of science believably but still create a tense human drama with believable grown up characters.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Very complex and rich but sometimes rushed., 2 May 2014
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This review is from: Resonance (Ragnarok 3) (Paperback)
The trilogy taken as a whole is excellent and as others have said its best to read them one after another or you'll lose track of characters and nuances in the many plot lines running through the story, as with some other complex space opera's this would benefit from a companion book to refer to while your reading as the final part in particular is hard to follow in some places as so many of the characters are touched upon briefly while also bringing in even more new characters, in my opinion this could have been a four or even five book series as some of the main characters and individual timelines are only touched upon leaving you wanting a little more depth to their stories and maybe a little less of the overly complex and sometimes difficult to understand mathematical and physical terms.
Very exciting but also very demanding of the reader, sometimes too much so.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Falls apart, 28 Mar 2014
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The themes from the first two books were fascinating. Meaney holds them together for most of this book, but then it just all falls apart. Really disappointing.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Sad to get to the end., 29 Jan 2014
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The journey was better than the ending, however I did enjoy it. It all seemed just a little rushed at the climax, unfortunate as the rest was well written.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book, 11 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Resonance (Ragnarok 3) (Paperback)
Am not one for writing a million word review. All you need to know is this....if you love your sifi then you will love john meaney, have read a lot of his books they are all brilliant reads . He's on a par with reynalds,asher,gibson,baxter but Ian m banks defo the man read his culture novels they are pure quality.
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Resonance (Ragnarok 3)
Resonance (Ragnarok 3) by John Meaney (Paperback - 19 Dec 2013)
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