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56 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent debut novel
I'd heard this debut novel was similar to both Iain Banks' and Dan Simmons' universes, and I was pleased to note that this was true - though only on a surface level. There's a very strong sense that the author sees the novel form as a vehicle for exploring science fact. It isn't hard to accept that this man is a hard scientist in his actual life, and even easier to accept...
Published on 7 Aug 2001

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Appallingly written!
The positive response to this book is a real mystery to me. I am an avid sci fi reader, and aware that only the best writers in this genre are able to write well AND have awesome imagination (e.g. Iain M. Banks or Peter Hamilton). So I came to this with a degree of stoicism. But, oh dear, the writing here is simply unbearable! Not only is dialogue unbelievably clumsy and...
Published 3 months ago by Dr Lex


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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars For the technogeek, 18 April 2010
By 
C. Kemp (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Revelation Space (Paperback)
There were some enjoyable bits, but too much of it focuses on technological details which bored me to death. This probably was covered more than the plot itself. The book would have been more lively with most of this detail cropped out. I found the end very depressing. :'(
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21 of 38 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Oh dear, oh dear!, 10 July 2001
By A Customer
Why this book has created such fuss is totally beyond me. I have seldom been so disappointed by what purports to be high-concept space opera, when it is in fact pure pulp. Not very good pulp at that.....
While the overall plot was of enough interest to keep me reading, the book is peppered with cardboard cutout characters, with unbelievable motivations, stumbling slap-dash from one derivative set-piece to the next. While the author has clearly been "inspired" by various sources (e.g. frozen captain - Dark Star, planet-sized computers - Hitch-Hiker's, even a throw-away chest-bursting scene straight out of Alien), what is particularly irksome is that so much is uncannily like Iain M. Banks' work, even down to quirky names for the ships.
However, the true let down of the book is that the author often resorts to deus ex machina solutions or scenarios to keep the story moving. Eg to give two of the characters a chance to escape, they are conveniently out of the weapons range of the ship they have just escaped - the same ship that a couple of chapters before had nearly attacked a planet from outside it's star system! Coupled with heavy, implausible dialogues and passages in which the "revelations" are contained, this really does fall down on maintaining the consistent "suspension of disbelief" that is essential to good SF.
Do yourself a favour - go re-read a Banks instead.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not all easy to read, but worth it, 5 Nov 2004
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This is a good story but rather complicated, especially at the start. The different characters are not only following their own plot lines but inhabit different times in history - and are making their way toward each other! Due to suspended animation, some of the plots jump years at a time. I found the chopping and changing from plotline to plotline and therefore time to time a bit of a nuisance as I had to keep stopping and checking I was able to place each plot and character relative to the others and the overall picture.
That aside, there are some interesting characters, plenty of intrigue, twists in the plot and some great technology, both ancient and new.
If you like your sci-fi hard and, un-like many of the previous reviewers some of whom seem to have an attention deficit disorder, can read a long book like a grown up, then Revelation Space is a good buy.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad for a first effort, 3 April 2002
By 
Mr. W. Hardy "GH" - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
I was intrigued by the reviews of this novel when it appeared on my recommended list. So much so that I immediately ordered it. The first half was wonderful. I was completely drawn into the plot and could indeed identify with the characters. Some of the ideas presented were interesting and original, and the style reminded me of the wonderful Iain Banks with perhaps just a touch of Dan O'Bannon.
Then everything changed just at the time when it should all have pulled together. It felt as if all those disparate little pieces of plot which had been happily floating around were grabbed and forced into the rather unsatisfactory ending. It was almost as if Mr. Reyolds couldn't really decide how the thing was to end, and just lost a lot of interest.
Definately a book of two halves. I will watch out for the next offering.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Fantastic, 26 Nov 2007
By 
S. Gorton "sjgee" (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I absolutely loved Revelation Space - best book I have read in ages - and I also enjoyed the other books in the series, including the short story collections.

Keep up the good work, Alastair!
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8 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great ideas let down by TERRIBLE writing., 4 Mar 2004
Revelation space is a great ideas book, no question, the scale and detail of many of the concepts and contructs is breath-taking. It's just such a shame that the author writes like an overly enthusiastic 17-year old student. Info-dumps are all well and good, I'm thinking of Banks and Hamilton here, but they're always contextual and don't break the flow of the story, unlike Reynolds, who seems to get so swept up in some piece of hightech or superscience that he completely seems to forget that he's writting a novel.
His approach to non-linear storytelling, again akin to Banks's Use of Weapons or Excession, is handled clumsily and lacks the overall clarity of vision of other works.
With a rather more aggressive editor this could have been very good indeed, but as it stands it's merely mediocre with hints of what it could have been, and about 20% too long for the content.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Echoes of Gateway, 22 July 2002
By A Customer
This was an excellent read that propelled you through a universe of chaos and uncertainty. However it did not keep you guessing or throw up too many surprises, certainly not if you have ever read the superior Gateway series by Frederick Pohl. This book had strong echoes of the Heechee the whole way through which somewhat spoiled what was otherwise a well written and interesting novel.
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4 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The worst SF I've read since the 80s, 10 July 2012
This review is from: Revelation Space (Paperback)
I'm sad to say that I've given up on this after 250 pages. I never give up on books, but this was so excruciatingly boring and badly written that it comes as some relief to bin it!
A tedious plot, written in a deliberately convoluted way just to introduce some mystery....
The author desperately needed a good editor - we don't need a description of a handrail which then has nothing else to do with the story...
The author also introduces words which are used out of their normal context, for instance at one point he talks about characters walking into a 'chock', which seems to mean a small room. I was constantly finding myself re-reading pages in an attempt to work out what on earth he was talking about.
For an author who is described as working with the ESA, the science is desperately poor at points, and at others hard physics is given in boring detail.
All of which could be excused if the storytelling was good. It's not!
I could carry on, as there are points to criticise every few pages. Best avoided!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Revelation, 22 Sep 2009
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This review is from: Revelation Space (Paperback)
A bit overlong and I will read Part 2 but not quite yet. That having been said a worthwhile read and I did get to the end!
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Wasted Space, 7 Jun 2010
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This review is from: Revelation Space (Paperback)
I bought this book on the basis of positive reviews but found it pretty hard going. Is it a bad book? Not really, the science is interesting, it is simply that the whole story line is boring and by half way through I didn't care what was going on or how it would all end. It then became a chore to plough through to the finish. The characterisaton is thin and I soon lost interest in what they were doing, saying or ploting. This is a book that is hard to pick up and easy to put down.

Mr Reynolds'science is great, he simply needed a better storyline and some characters with character.

You will gather that this was not my 'cup of tea' and I devour SF novels. It was only when I finished it that I realised I had read 'House of Suns' last year and thought that was a chore too! No more Mr Reynolds for me I am afraid.
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Revelation Space (S.F. MASTERWORKS)
Revelation Space (S.F. MASTERWORKS) by Alastair Reynolds (Paperback - 12 Sep 2013)
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