The Prefect Hardcover – 3 Jun 2008
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"A fascinating hybrid of space opera, police procedural and character study." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
A rollercoaster ride through the dark and turbulent universe of REVELATION SPACE: an interstellar thriller where nothing - and no one - is what they seem . . . --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
It turns out, I couldn't have been more wrong in my initial assumptions - it's easily the best of the Revelation Space books, and perhaps my favourite Alistair Reynolds book of the lot. It stands alone, but it also stands out. While it is in many respects riddled with cliches, that's because it's largely an affectionate and extremely effective homage to the grizzled detective tales of the noir era - The Prefect is noir in space, which is about as noir as it's possible to get.
It begins well, avoiding the common Reynolds failing of spending too much of an early story world-building. It builds momentum with every page, widening the scope of the initial crime with every new revelation, eventually unfolding into a vast, chilling conspiracy that is triggered and unfolds with the dread chill of irrevocablity. It builds to a crescendo that is as much about the morality of justice as it is about the conclusion of a plot. And then it finally ends with a sense of perfect closure, whilst still setting the series up for a sequel.
You can read this book without having read the others - it has only scant relevance to the other titles in the series. If you have read others though, especially Chasm City, it's fascinating to see a world that is so dark and so hopeless in the days before its decline into plague-induced madness. It also makes much of the earlier series more intensely melancholic - we finally get to understand the sense of loss and longing that underpins the desperate state of life for those in the earlier books. It deepens our appreciate of the earlier books, but it doesn't depend on them.
I loved every page of this, and I have no hesitation in recommending it wholeheartedly.
I am a fan of his style as it is not too dark and although some of his ideas can shock, he maintains a lightness of touch using beautiful and clever sci fi concepts and a comforting voice . I thoroughly recommend.
My only quibble is that sometimes the interior monologues are a little overlong and the suspense inducing cliffhangers, in this case abrupt shifts in scene just when a revelation is to be made, can be exasperating rather than thrilling.
That said, it is grand and it is an intriguing story. An enjoyable and very readable contribution to the genre.
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