9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Nearly there Alistair!,
This review is from: Century Rain (GOLLANCZ S.F.) (Paperback)
This was my first Alistair Reynolds book, but definitely not my last. I was gripped from the start by its 'film noir' style exploration of 1959 alternate history Paris. Reynold's work is easy to read without being in anyway linguistically dumbed down. The first two-thirds of the book in particular were very good and the characters believable. Without wanting to give too much away and spoil the plot, I was pleased by the inventiveness of the book e.g. the Anomalous Large Sphere (ALS) idea and the swarms of Slasher nano-bots. I do have a few issues with this detective/space opera however. As a minor point I found some of the names a little twee. For example, the main groups of protagonists are called Threshers and Slashers, and you will come across beings known as war-babies ( sweet Lord!) Furthermore, the space chase sequences towards the end of the book ( although relatively short ) lack the excitement and pace of earlier chapters and the bag guy ( won't reveal his name ) becomes nothing more than an anonymous sensor blip. The ending nagged at me a bit too - it left a few too many plotlines hanging e.g. what happens to Custine and how does the ALS proceed through time. Also, I thought Floyd ( the main character ) behaves in the final sentence a bit uncharacteristically callous - maybe I just prefer a happy ending to a morally ambiguous one, maybe Reynolds actually got the ending spot on and I'm a bit too immature to accept it!
I was tempted to give the book a 3 ( 3.5 not possible unfortunately ), but I'm going to throw it a 4 because it's introduced me to a new author who I'm sure will not disappoint in future.