on 30 October 2013
This is a novel with some features that are not uncommon in SF literature but with some interesting twists. It's theme is based on Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. A starship containing an odd selection of pilgrims, mostly aliens, is on a pilgrimage to the galactic edge in search of "transcendence". Each pilgrim in turn recounts their own story, although it soon appears that not all, if any, are truthful. One by one the pilgrims are murdered, so it is clear that not all are on a spiritual journey.
The hero of the story, Riley, is not searching for spiritual enlightenment, but has been placed on the starship in an attempt to identify the "prophet" whose message might lead to the breakdown of the tenuous peace that holds across the galaxy. He eventually teams up with Asha, the only other human on the voyage. I found the climax of the story a bit of a let-down but as a whole the book is an excellent read.
on 2 October 2014
Cardboard cutout characters and a battleship grey level of detail left me bored before I even got halfway through. The whole attempt at intrigue was dropped towards the end with few hints to make the ( inevitable) sequels worth considering. The technology was poorly developed and the aliens were thoroughly homo sapiens in their motivations and psychology. Traversing the majestic vistas of the galaxy, bridging the gulf between spiral arms... should provoke a shiver, not a yawn. I gave this 1 star on the basis that there were no obvious spelling mistakes!