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Absorption (Ragnarok Book 1) by [Meaney, John]
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Absorption (Ragnarok Book 1) Kindle Edition

3.9 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Length: 416 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Description

Book Description

The universe is dark. And it is alive. Hard SF Space Opera to rival Peter F. Hamilton.

About the Author

John Meaney is the author of To Hold Infinity, Paradox and Context. To Hold Infinity and Paradox were on the BSFA shortlists for Best Novel in 1999 and 2001 respectively. The Times called John Meaney "The first important new sf writer of the 21st century."
Meaney has a degree in physics and computer science, and holds a black belt in Shotokan Karate. He lives in Glamorgan.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 922 KB
  • Print Length: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (20 May 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004KSRZCO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #220,649 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Ed.F VINE VOICE on 24 Jun. 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As I've mentioned in other reviews I'm seriously fond of space opera, the more grandiose in scale and complexity the better and this 1st novel in a planned trilogy is frankly brilliant. It delivers on every level with tight plotting, efficient characterisation and compelling world building. The use of a multi threaded narrative, set in multiple time periods delivers a great deal of tension and pace and unusually doesn't get too confusing to follow. Following three primary characters from the dark ages, early 20th century and from 600 years from now, their stories are intertwined with a host of other characters from various time periods around the three main hubs.

The tension and pace ramp up through the book with hints as to the shape of the coming conflict and glimpses of both hidden capabilities and subtle conspiracies. I found myself genuinely gripped with the fates of various characters and found some of the plot twists both totally unexpected and quite moving.

I don't think I can recommend this highly enough. It's the best opener to a space opera trilogy since The Reality Dysfunction. Bravo!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I think this is the best novel John Meaney has written to date. It resonates with echoes of some of his earlier novels and short fiction, but while the reader's experience of this book might benefit from having read To Hold Infinity, Paradox, Context, and Resolution, I'm certain that won't be necessary to enjoy it. And if you like science fiction with fascinating characters, exotic yet believable settings, excellent writing, and lots of layers of meaning and action, you will enjoy it a great deal.

Absorption is a richly interwoven narrative that navigates time and space with as much ease and style as one of Meaney's legendary Pilots. It immerses you in elegant complexities of character and story and scene, uniting the lives and destinies of beings from far-flung localities in a cause that leaves the familiar limitations of space and time behind, because the enemies of life are not bound by them. Meaney's villains are powerful, mysterious, well-conceived and downright scary in their ability to infiltrate and twist any reality, including our own.

The overall story is necessarily incomplete until the final volume, but Meaney manages to pause each thread in a satisfying place, while also spinning up new ones to whet the reader's appetite for what's to come. And if what's to come is as good as the first book, it's going to be worth waiting for.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book takes a bit of getting into. So many new characters are introduced in each chapter you begin to wonder if you can keep up. It is well worth persisting with however, as gradually they all get connected and a steadily mounting death toll focusses your attention on just a few and the momentous challenge that face. Spun across several periods of time and virtual worlds as well as the vastness of 'Mu-space', this is a highly intelligent, sophisticated and well-written novel which is also suspenseful. It will leave you yearning for more.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The storyline is divided into time periods, each told in turn, then around again - it does get a bit confusing.

The book is well written otherwise and its an interesting read - I have the second volume to continue,
I suspect that both must be read to get the full picture; but my least favourite is the Viking era.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm always cautious about anything labelled `epic'; it is often an excuse for an overly long, rambling shambles that should have been condensed and published as a single volume. In this instance, the first part of the Ragnarok trilogy, I'm happy to be wrong. Meaney is an accomplished wordsmith weaving a complex multi-threaded narrative through five time periods with hints of a single, all-encompassing primary plot. A few minor things let the story down very slightly; the hugely ambitious narrative is at the cost of character development and this, compounded by occasionally clunky dialogue, invokes little empathy for the various main characters; the Luculentus code snippets are a bit naff and I found that the eighth century Norse narrative dragged a little. On the plus side, the main Roger Blackstone / Labyrinth thread is brilliant and there are no huge info-dumps or showing-off of the author's grasp of esoteric mathematics or physics to ruin the narrative flow.

The minor criticisms aside, though, I thoroughly enjoyed `Absorption', I'm looking forward to `Transmission' and, thanks to another reviewer, I'm going to track down a copy of `To Hold Infinity', effectively the prequel to this novel. It's great to see another up-and-coming British SF author with the potential to stand alongside Alastair Reynolds and Iain M. Banks.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Set in 700 AD, the 1940s, and various times in the future, this story intrigues and amuses.

A little like Stephen Baxter's wonderful Times Tapestry sequence - although this is all happening in parallel, in both time and (probably) hyperspace - or perhaps (?) hypertime... anyway - some great individual stories, with likeable and well drawn characters, and then the overarching main theme - which you need to read ALL the books to fully understand.
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