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The Prefect (GOLLANCZ S.F.) by [Reynolds, Alastair]
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The Prefect (GOLLANCZ S.F.) Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 56 customer reviews

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Length: 516 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Review

Combines space-roaming adventure with a solid detective story. Fast-paced and inventive, this may be Reynolds' best yet. (Lisa Tuttle THE TIMES)

"THE PREFECT is hugely entertaining and inventive, a compelling fusion of the detective novel and a brilliantly constructed vision of the future. Cracking stuff." (DEATHRAY)

"An enjoyable novel which shows Reynolds growth as a writer. Though good before, I think this is one his best novels to date." (Mark Yon SFFWORLD.COM)

"Politics, ambition and betrayal against the backdrop of Reynolds' Revelation Space universe." (Anthony Browne STARBURST)

There's enough inventiveness here to keep you entertained for a good while. (SANDSTORM REVIEWS)

"In The Prefect Alastair Reynolds executes an enjoyable and extremely fast-paced return to the universe that made his name. The story develops nicely and explodes into a furious page-turning pace in its second half that barely lets up. The Prefect is Reynolds' best novel since at least Redemption Ark, and is an engrossing read." (THE WERTZONE)

"This is a book about freedom, its limits and how much liberty we should sacrifice in the name of safety - pertinent themes suggesting a new political edge to Reynolds' work." (Jonathan Wright SFX)

A welcome return to his Revelation Space universe. (EDGE)

Anthony Browne, STARBURST

"Politics, ambition and betrayal against the backdrop of Reynolds' Revelation Space universe."

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1419 KB
  • Print Length: 516 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0575082186
  • Publisher: Gollancz (10 Dec. 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0047COPE4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 56 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #87,475 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Once again Alastair Reynolds returns to his "Revelation Space" universe and is a glorious read. Field Prefect Tom Dreyfus is an agent of Panoply, an agency that ensures and protects the voting rights of the residents of the Glitter Band, ten thousand habitats which orbit the planet Yellowstone in the year 2427. When a habitat is attacked Panoply sends their best agent and his team to investigate and once he begins he will not stop until he finds the truth.

Reynolds further adds to his menagerie of characters and expands his colourful universe, having read all of Reynolds's other "Revelation Space" books its great to see an era that is in the golden age of man kind the but never been visited.

The Prefect stands well as a stand alone book and if you have read the other books in the series it adds another dimension. More please Mr Reynolds!
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Format: Hardcover
It is the year 2427. The place is the Glitter Band, ten thousand space habitats circling the planet Yellowstone, the golden heart of human space where a multitude of different cultures meet and trade, and a waystop for huge lighthuggers as they slowly traverse the distances between the stars at speeds just below that of light. This is the universe of Revelation Space, Alastair Reynolds' critically-acclaimed gothic space opera which has now extended across five novels, two novellas and a short story collection. The Prefect is a stand-alone addition to this excellently-realised future history, taking place approximately a century before the events of Chasm City and Revelation Space itself.

Whilst the planet Yellowstone and its biggest settlement, Chasm City, deal with their own affairs, it falls to the prefects of Panoply to police the vast Glitter Band and its 100 million citizens, who practice the ultimate form of democracy, Demarchism. Every minute dozens of decisions, large and small, are put to the public vote and the people of the Glitter Band spend much of their time engrossed in politics, employing a form of VR known as Abstraction to talk to one another, or choosing to lose themselves in fantastical reflections of the real world. The greatest crime in the Glitter Band is an attempt to deny the will of the people. [...][...]And, as this is a mystery novel, to say any more of the plot would threaten to indulge in spoilers. Suffice to say that the links between The Prefect and the other Revelation Space novels are subtle and numerous.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For me this is without a doubt Reynolds' best work to date. It has the same gritty-space-operate flavour as previous Revelation Space novels, but the pace of the plot is considerably higher and there is less time spent on long introspectives. The Glitter Band pre-melding-plague is a great setting for those who know the series, and the book follows mainly just two plot-strands tracking Dreyfus and his deputy Thalia, so there's not too much to keep tabs on. Overall it reminds me a little of Ian Banks' Player of Games or David Brin's Startide Rising, which is a high standard indeed.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Revelation Space series has been pretty uneven, full of lethargic starts followed by thrilling conclusions, and vice versa. However, the story it tells is full of sweeping grandeur and majesty, with an oncoming galactic apocalypse as the backdrop for a fundamentally human story about perseverance against the cosmic inevitability of our eventual irrelevence. The Prefect is set in that universe, but before all of the events of the previous books. As such, I wasn't 100% thrilled about the prospect - I worried it would lose almost everything I had enjoyed about the setting.

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.
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Format: Hardcover
Whilst the Prefect isn't perfect it did remind me of those good old Asimov Bailey detective novels, which is praise indeed as far as I am concerned.

There are plenty of twists and turns, some of which I anticipated, although I didn't foresee how they would tie in with other parts of the Revelation Space universe. The reader isn't led by the nose through the plot. I had a few 'a-ha' moments as the protagonist pieces the mystery together, something I savour. I'd much rather have this than be screaming at blind supporting characters for fifty pages.

The characters on the whole are well drawn and I found myself wanting to rush onwards and finish the book in a single sitting - which I didn't manage due to time, it took me three visits.

I am eager to see if Al rolls out the main character again in the future as I would love to see more like this if possible. Having just finished Galactic North and Zima Blue my Alastair Reynolds apetite has been quenched for a short while, but sadly I'm going to have to wait for another fix for a while whilst we give him time to write some more delicious morsels for us to devour.

This book now sits proudly next to my other Alastair Reynolds hardbacks on my bookshelf. If you've read him before and liked his stuff make sure you get this book too.
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