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An Absolutely Brilliant Second Instalment.,
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This review is from: Transmission (Ragnarok 2) (Paperback)
I thought `Absorption' was ambitious, trying to cram five independent narrative threads into a few hundred pages but it seems that Meaney was just warming up. In volume two the reader is catapulted straight back into the worlds of Roger, Gavriela, Ulfr and Rekka & the shiny bloke but not being content with just consolidating the characters and very gradually weaving the threads together, Meaney introduces another thread and a lot more secondary characters and interwoven labyrinthine plot lines to the existing threads. It requires more than average concentration to keep track of it all but rather than being a chore, I found the depth & complexity thoroughly engaging - shallow it is most definitely not.
The pace of the first volume now seems positively stately compared to volume two; Meaney's masterly prose continues to avoid insulting (or confusing) the reader's intelligence with pace-killing info dumps and the chapters are just the right length being longer during character & plot development and shorter & punchy when the action hots-up. There is always so much either gently hinted-at, imminent or actually going-on that the novel attained the ultimate accolade - becoming un-put-down-able, even after a long & tiring day.
I`m more than eagerly awaiting the third volume to bring everything together, but when it does eventually become available, I'll definitely have to re-read the first two volumes beforehand - there's no chance of me remembering the story so far in sufficient detail to do the final instalment justice.
On the strength of Ragnarok Volumes 2 & 1 alone, Meaney is worthy of a position on the masters of modern science fiction podium alongside Banks & Reynolds; I just wish I'd discovered him sooner as a lot of his earlier works are out of print.