3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Not exactly what it says on the tin,
This review is from: Blue Remembered Earth (Poseidons Children 1) (Paperback)
Well, I've never been lied to by the back of a book before. I say this because, apart from serving as a rather needless Chekhov's gun, the potentially menacing 'Mechanism' referred to in the description plays absolutely no role in the story. I hope this doesn't count as a spoiler, as knowing this gives nothing away about the actual plot of the book. However, any reader expecting a tale set in a grim superficial utopia where humanity's freedom of action has been handed over to some sort of technological Lethiathan will be disappointed to find this isn't the case. Blue Remembered Earth does have a good story but it is, shall we say, not as advertised.
The above however points to a wider problem I had with Blue Remembered Earth; there are a lot of concepts and characters introduced, but none of them really develop into anything. Most space sagas these days try to weave multiple narrative strands together, with different characters and power blocks helping or hindering the protagonists, but here these elements feel very superficial. There's no sense of 'what's really going on', of a grand conspiracy or cover-up or why any of the factions involved are behaving as they are, other than to move the plot forward that is. As the reader, I never really felt as if the veil was being slowly lifted as the story went from one set-piece to the next. Fundamentally there's no sense of a story coming together. This lack of gradual revelation is highlighted by the fact 'the truth' is entirely revealed in a lengthy exposition chapter near the end of the book, and said truth comes as much of a surprise to the protagonists as it was me. The novel feels like it should have been either a much sorter story following Geoffrey and Sunday as they just solve a set of clues in a science fiction setting, or developed into a much larger multi-book epic with more detailed and intricate interactions between the competing factions and the previously mentioned all-powerful 'Mechanism'.
Blue Remembered Earth is well worth reading (or at least borrowing from a friend) if you're a fan of Alastair Reynolds, but it's hardly him at his best.