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Revenger Hardcover – 15 Sep 2016
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A swashbuckling thriller - Pirates of the Caribbean meets Firefly - that nevertheless combines the author's trademark hard SF with effective, coming-of-age characterisation. (GUARDIAN)
A must-read... an unexpectedly personal and emotionally-driven tale of determination and retribution - with some great twists along the way and a gutsy heroine who will appeal to fans of young adult literature. (STARBURST)
A blindingly clever imagining of our solar system in the far flung future. (THE SUN)
A rollicking adventure yarn with action, abduction, fights, properly scary hazards, very grisly torture and even ghosts of a sort. (THE DAILY TELEGRAPH)
By far the most enjoyable book Reynolds has ever written. (SFX)
The World of Revenger is undeniably fascinating, and with Reynolds as your storyteller, a journey into it is definitely worthwhile. (SCIFINOW)
Featuring dollops of derring-do and not a few space battles too, Revenger might be Reynold's most accessible solo effort yet. (TOR.COM)
Basically, it's TREASURE ISLAND meets MOBY DICK, set in space, with a nice BLADE RUNNER-ish colour palette and a cast of characters worthy of a Terry Gilliam movie. I loved it. (JOANNE HARRIS)
Reynolds makes the human story compelling in a narrative that, spiced with bizarre characters aplenty and propelled by vengeance, smacks intriguingly of everything from Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island to Mad Max. (NATURE)
An excellent, gripping piece of work (SFANDFREVIEWS)
A superb SF adventure set in the rubble of a ruined universe, this is a deep space heist story of kidnap, betrayal, alien artefacts and revenge.See all Product description
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Myself I thoroughly enjoyed it. The story is a bit steam punk/Victorians in space/Firefly but I think he puts enough Reynolds spin on it to make it his own.
I liked the way that he did a bit of a 'Game of Thrones' on what appeared to be the main characters. It mixed it up a bit and gave a strong base for the motivations of the main players. The character motivations are also suitably grey with the 'Heroes' being willing to sacrifice others to achieve their goals and the baddies possibly not as baddy as first thought. Somewhat more believable than reading about some shining white knight who never puts a foot wrong. I thought that there was possibly scope to develop this further but it certainly didn’t detract from my enjoyment.
I found the sciencey side of things fine. I'm an ex-Physics teacher so everything has to be taken with a pinch of salt, but nothing in the book made me scream or pull my hair out in exasperation. The use of 'bones' was a nice new touch and the overall idea of beings living in the homes of other beings long dead (for about the 13th time IIRC) gave good scope and reason for some out-there gadgets.
Overall, well written, well edited and felt like a fresh story though some of the ideas may have been done before.
Possibly not for AR fans? But I can't wait for the sequel (he threaded the sequel in quite nicely throughout the book.
I was not even sure that the main characters are human - there are oddities about a skull much bigger than the people, so I had wondered if it would turn out these were evolved rats or mice. Still possible, if this is a new series beginning.
But I found it hard to believe in a pirate who would be stupidly violent, rather than encouraging targets to surrender without a fight.
Imagining the narrator-character losing their moral bearings was believable but spoiled the story for me. There was nothing likeable about them at the end.
The pirate's bizarre explanation for her strategy also sounded totally stupid. I suppose it is common in SF for people to have a secret and not bother sharing it to perhaps persuade others. But this one was unusually absurd.
I do remain interested in the background story and hope he does revisit it, only this time keep the main character at least vaguely decent.
This is a strange mishmash of a book. It feels, particularly at the outset, as those it is striving for a young adult audience but later loses that early atmosphere, becoming much darker and more adult oriented. I wasn’t too unhappy with that as I don’t generally get on very well with YA style books. The universe manages to be both extremely far future and, at the same time, almost steampunk, not dissimilar to the feel of Chris Wooding’s Ketty Jay books (though with much less humour). It is set in a universe in which the planet or planets orbiting the ‘Old Sun’ (possibly Earth and Sol or possibly somewhere else; it’s neither made clear nor particularly important) have been sundered into hundreds of thousands of small ‘worlds’ where gravity is provided either by spinning them or placing black holes at their centres. All this has been done by a population, human or alien, lost in the mists of time. Subsequently these worlds have gone through waves of occupation by both human or alien civilisations leaving behind caches of their technology scattered throughout the system. The present civilisation, mostly human, live in or on the various worlds raiding the caches for technology that they can use despite having no understanding of how it works. This makes for an interesting and different backdrop where some of the tech is pretty much steampunk and the rest so far advanced to meet Clarke’s definition of magic.
I thoroughly enjoyed the setting, the writing, the characters and the story, the only fly being a slightly uneven feel to the whole book and a bit of predictability about the plot at least on the macro level; the smaller plotting details were much less predictable. Also why do SF authors so often pick a small number of random ‘new’ words for a few things whilst leaving the vast majority unchanged – things like ‘lungstuff’ instead of air? All it seems to achieve from my perspective is a disjointed vocabulary where the unchanged stuff draws attention to the changed and the changed to the unchanged. A long way from being Reynolds best, Revenger is still an enjoyable read and I look forward to the next instalment.
Highly recommended, a real return to form from Mr Reynolds.
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