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on 6 January 2016
One of the great all-time sc-fi writers. And this is one of my favourite of his works. As some reviewers have said it is a cross between a detective story and a sci-fi novel. But the plot is well thought out, and the characters are very real. The author manages to blend the two genres seamlessly and the twists and turns of the story will keep you guessing until the end. Well worth a read!
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on 12 September 2013
I very much like Alastair Reynolds work, but I LOVED this.

It starts small and starts confusing, so be warned but stick with it. The links between different stories in (apparently) different times are not immediately evident - but all will be made crystal clear, and there are no loose ends.

It is a fantastic blend of gripping Philip Marlow style noir thriller with mind blowing hard science fiction conspiracy. A very satisfying read indeed.

If only we had more writers of this caliber, or if only he could work faster..!
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VINE VOICEon 21 February 2005
The Paris detective stuff is really not bad: believable characterisation, trademark snappy dialogue and organic plot development. Genuinely page-turning stuff.
As other reviews have noted, at the half-way point it's all change. We get into an extended hi-tech chase sequence and the plot development stalls. The editor should have been harsher here. More serious is the collapse of plot credibility. Why would the "extremist slashers" want to unleash their genocidal plan on E2? Both revenge and the quest for real-estate are equally implausible as motivations. And the ending is scrappy.
A shame really - this had potential for audience crossover, but SF folk will like it, even those who hang out at /.
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on 9 February 2018
I really enjoyed this. A typical example of Reynolds quirky imagination wrapped up into a readable and enjoyable story.
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on 5 December 2014
I've read about 90% of Alastair Reynolds' books and this is my favourite. Engrossing stuff and combines some hard sci-fi with an alternate, but very similar 1930s europe, focussing mainly on Paris. It's part love story, part detective story and part space opera and it's rare to find a book capable of combining so much and doing it so well.

It's worth a try for any sci-fi fan and i could see this book making a fantastic film too.
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on 5 June 2012
My first attempt at some Alastair Reynolds, and certainly enough to make me want to try some more. This is an intriguing blend of retro detective noir and high concept space opera that riffs on the alternative Second World War histories of Philip K. Dick and Robert Harris while giving it sufficient spin to make it only a component of an intriguing idea and plot. As expected in noir, the hero is suitably crumpled and careworn, while our heroine is sassy, sexy, and flawed in just the right ways. The symbiotic and mutually destructive relationship between the Threshers and Slashers is revealed slowly but carefully throughout, and the slow but grudging understanding as Verity begins to understand the virtues of Slasher technology helps underpin the novel's core themes - when does technological progress stop being a force for good, how can we tell the difference, and how can we mitigate this risk? A special nod to his invention of the Amusica virus too; as a music fanatic I found the concept utterly horrific! The wormhole physics explanations drift to blather too often though, and I found Wendell's handling of the ultimate revelations a little blasé, but then again I don't know how I'd deal with that kind of "everything you know is wrong" moment either. Overall this is a fine, thought provoking read with many moments of high drama, page turning great escapes, and a downbeat but ultimately satisfying conclusion.
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on 21 May 2014
I am a big fan of Alistair Reynolds and so, I suppose biased. I enjoy his style and his story lines and the story telling is always of a very high standard. I know other readers like to dig very deep into plots and meanings but I just enjoy a good story in this genre, so I have always been happy to read his work.
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on 30 September 2012
This book could easily have been condensed down to 476-500 pages. I felt there was alot of needless speech that didn't need to be spoken and also I thought the book went on and on a bit in places to the point where I sometimes lost interest (but I did finish the book). However, stating what I have, I definately thought that the book did have a good, original story line and that the characters & the science were very belieivable. However, I was not too sure why the author feels the need to use profanity in his books. If the profanity had been completely left out, I believe it would have given the book far more quality & integrity.
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on 16 September 2015
Brilliant epic, at the moment I am re-reading all of Reynolds books,which I foolishly disposed of some time ago
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on 26 November 2017
Really fun and immersive, had trouble putting it down. A great mix of detective story and sci fi, characters are likable and relatable.
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