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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Whizz-bang journey through time and space
"The Recollection" is Gareth L Powell's second full length novel, following on from "Silversands" (Pendragon Press) and his acclaimed short story collection "The Last Reef". And it is from "The Last Reef" that "The Recollection" draws most heavily, particularly from the short story Arches. It's fascinating to see the genesis of a novel in a short story, and the...
Published on 16 Sep 2011 by Mr. C. Horner

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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Strangely reminiscent of another (better) book...
An all-action mainstream SF novel featuring teleportation to other planets that isn't instantaneous but happens at light-speed, so all sorts of ageing themes. Totally unbelievable main characters.
The interesting thing is the similarities to another book. "The Recollection" features a super-power alien intelligence taking over humans on a planet called Strauli...
Published on 19 April 2012 by Malcolm Ostermeyer


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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Strangely reminiscent of another (better) book..., 19 April 2012
By 
Malcolm Ostermeyer "Malcolm" (Lancaster, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Recollection (Paperback)
An all-action mainstream SF novel featuring teleportation to other planets that isn't instantaneous but happens at light-speed, so all sorts of ageing themes. Totally unbelievable main characters.
The interesting thing is the similarities to another book. "The Recollection" features a super-power alien intelligence taking over humans on a planet called Strauli Quay, with a bio-machine built by aliens and powered by one human being overcoming it. Vernor Vinge's "A Fire Upon the Deep" (a BRILLIANT book, if you've not read it! - A Fire Upon The Deep (Gollancz S.F.)) features a super-power alien intelligence taking over humans on a planet called Straumli Realm, with a bio-machine built by aliens and powered by one human being overcoming it. Homage? - pay your money and take your choice!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Whizz-bang journey through time and space, 16 Sep 2011
By 
Mr. C. Horner "hierath" (Bristol, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Recollection (Paperback)
"The Recollection" is Gareth L Powell's second full length novel, following on from "Silversands" (Pendragon Press) and his acclaimed short story collection "The Last Reef". And it is from "The Last Reef" that "The Recollection" draws most heavily, particularly from the short story Arches. It's fascinating to see the genesis of a novel in a short story, and the collection, from Elastic Press, is worth seeking out.

"The Recollection" opens with Ed's brother Verne falling through a mysterious arch at the bottom of an escalator at a London Underground station, leaving his brother Ed, and his wife (and Ed's on-off lover) Alice, to solve the mystery of his disappearance. Arches are appearing all over the world, and they lead to other planets, other arches, drawing Ed and Alice through the universe in their quest to find Verne.

Meanwhile, in a distant future, Kat Abdulov and her psychically linked spaceship, Ameline, are in a desperate race with her former lover to a remote planet. But what they find when they get there is shocking, throwing them back together in a most unexpected way. And on a crystal spaceship, a race of aliens search for a way to save humanity from a deadly, relentless foe...

"The Recollection" is an epic story, spanning time and space, cramming ideas into its multi-layered plot. In the hands of writers like Alastair Reynolds or Ian M Banks, it would be the opening to a five-volume epic space saga. But in Powell's hands, the story whizzes along, barely pausing for breath as it hurls the reader far into the future, and from one end of the galaxy to the other. In a way, it's almost too fast, the ideas, of the Arches, and of the mysterious Recollection itself, may have benefited from more leisurely examination, and it's to be hoped there will be spin-offs from some of the ideas not fully explored in the novel.

It's certainly an exciting major-label debut from a promising author at the start of what will hopefully be a long and fruitful career, with plenty of time to slow down and stare wide-eyed at the fascinating universe Powell has only begun to sketch here.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Poor Characterisation - unbelievable conclusion, 11 Mar 2012
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This review is from: The Recollection (Paperback)
Well - I guess it's down to how bothered you are about charactersiation and plot.
The characterisation was pretty much non-existent: The decriptions of emotional reactions, especially of women, were at a school essay level of insight and painful to read. Parts of the plot were good enough to be page-turning but others felt like fillers and are best skipped. Overall the plot was obvious but the conclusion managed to be both unbelievable - hero saves universe (that would perhaps be permissible in Doctor Who) and disappointing. I've not read any of his other works and assumed this was a first novel. If I'm right others may be better, if not, then I shan't read any more. Sorry - I've been reading Sci-Fi for fourty years and few disappoint. This did.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ummm ... not sure about this., 29 Jan 2012
This review is from: The Recollection (Paperback)
Sorry to disagree with higher ratings, but I felt this book was only average. The characters were a little shallow, and some of their actions were questionable. The book had a few mistakes as well - the Land Rover swapping engines from diesel to petrol for example. All in all, the book reads almost as though it was aimed at young adults. I'll probably try the next in the series, but I'll get it from the library rather than purchase it. Just a final word - I'm also reading John Meaney's Absorbtion, which "feels" much more adult in comparision.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars lose ends and sallow characters, 15 Aug 2012
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This review is from: The Recollection (Paperback)
not to speak of hateful characters that become the good guys.. no reason given. Words that appear (the big boat) and then reappear (Trafalgar!) ... with no place in the story. Unexplained sabotages. The abrupt ending is really the least of its problems. It's a pity because the reading flows and the ideas are nice, just he doesn't seem to take the time to do something with them.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Old time fun, 6 Jan 2013
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This review is from: The Recollection (Paperback)
This book read like one of many earlier Sf books that I have read and enjoyed. We have a fantastic story and it builds up into an ending where all of humanity is at risk. Most of the characters in the story are more or less normal people trying to cope in a very different world. Of course you ask yourself sometimes why they did this or that but since they are normal people and not superheroes you have to expect some less than logical or sane actions.

It was impressive to see that you could write this story on only 300 pages. Many other writers would probably have used far more in order to expand a number of things to bring more detail into the story but the way Mr. Powell wrote it it worked very well. If you like classic Sf this is a book for you.

This book is a great start for Mr Powell. I hope he will continue with this line of writing and I will certainly continue to read him.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love, Trade, Wars and Aliens, 22 Sep 2011
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cybermage.se (USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Recollection (Paperback)
One day Arches starts to appear, first there are only a few but then more and more. Ed was having a fight with his brother when the brother was swallowed by one of the first. It was first later Ed learned that the Arches went places, places light years away. This story has wormholes but no faster than light travel. Time stops for people while they travel between two arches but they only move at light speed.

The interesting part starts when Ed and his brother's wife Alice themselves enter an arch to search for the lost brother. Their complex motivation and feelings add spice as they travel through the arches and meets people and aliens there. They discover the nature of the arch network piece by piece.

At the same time there is a parallel story some four hundred years into the future about a female starship captain down on her luck betrayed by the man she believed loved her. They have kind of a Romeo and Juliet past. Their trading families are enemies.

The stories keep switching back and forth and it is quite obvious that they will meet up at some time.

Gareth paints the world as we move along in what the characters see but also in news lists at the beginning of some of the chapters in a way that feels natural and inspire further thoughts.

This quest to find the lost brother and the trade war between former lovers Katherine Abdulov and Victor Luciano would be enough to make a good story but there is more, much more.

The Recollection has mysterious ancient aliens with a gigantic diamond starship on the run from an equally ancient weapon, and a mind-boggling destiny beside a deeply satisfying human story.

The Recollection is an impressive debut by new-to-me novelist Gareth L. Powell. It was an immersive read I can really recommend to every fan of good space opera. This is obviously a part of a bigger tale even if a series is never mentioned. Even so it is pretty standalone. I wonder when the next book in this universe will be out because there are obviously more story to tell here. Hope it is soon.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gareth Powell fantastic first novel, 15 Sep 2011
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This review is from: The Recollection (Paperback)
I have previously read his last two books, The Last Reef (short story collection) and Silversands (Novella) and they were both great books. I was very much looking forward to his first novel The Recollection and it was not a let-down, it is fantastic.
As soon as you start the book you are in the thick of the action with Ed Rico just about to have his wrists smashed with a cleaver. Form here we go on a fast paced trip through space and time, meet strange aliens and find out what The Recollection is. The book gets more and more exciting and if you are like me you will not be able to put it down until it is finished. This is one of best books I have ever read and I can't wait for Gareth's next one.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A sci-fi with cool plot & characters? I kid you not., 2 Feb 2012
This review is from: The Recollection (Kindle Edition)
I'm wary of talking about the plot as I don't want to spoil anything!

Suffice to say this is a great read. It zips along, delivering a great world effortlessly. Even better it isn't the focus (an attack often levelled at the genre) rather a backdrop for the characters that are *shock* interesting and *gasp* develop.

There are some great twists and one of the things I liked most was the way that, by the end, my questions had been satisfied, from the big plot ones to the small, "how does this work, then?"

Heartily recommended.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Escapism, 3 Sep 2011
By 
Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog "Falcata T... - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Recollection (Paperback)
To be honest with you I hadn't read any of Gareth's work prior to this so I wasn't exactly sure what I was going to get. What unfurled in this book was a story of redemption, a story of adventure and one of mystery that all blends together to give a real shot of the Sci-Fi with touches of Futurama, a dash of Star Trek and a good helping of Star Wars. Its fun, it has some decent prose, but for me it's the characters within that really make this a story to remember.

Other than that it is a great piece of escapism and a universe that I hope to return to at some point to see what the future has in store for those who have boldly gone.
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The Recollection
The Recollection by Gareth L. Powell (Paperback - 1 Sep 2011)
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