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VINE VOICEon 21 December 2010
I was a big fan os the first two books in the Shoal sequence, and I have to admit I found Empire of Light a bit of a let down. The first coupel of chapters can be summarised as follows:

Dakota - We need to find a big Deus ex machina to get us out of the nova war. I'll go and ask the Makers, who have been looking for it to destroy it for thousands of years. Oh, its called the Mos Hadroch.

Ty - I've heard of the Mos Hadroch and I know where it is. Lets go there.

And so a mystery that has defeated a galaxy spanning intelligence for milennia is solved in the time it takes to read a cup of tea.

That put a downer on the rest of the story for me, and although there are some very good action sequences and tense interstellar space opera scenes, it just never quite hangs together. The ending itself does not quite plumb the depths seen at the end of the Naked God, but it comes close in terms of mystical machines magically making things all better again. It is however redeemed by a much better epilogue.

In short, if you have read the rest of the Shoal books, you will want to read Empire of Light, but don't get your hopes up....
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VINE VOICEon 6 September 2010
Gary, for me, has always been an author who has taken new directions and provides the reader with the unexpected. Here, within the third part of the Nova War series, is a title that takes the reader not only into the unknown but does it with bags of talent. Beautifully written with a great story arc, colourful characters and a talent to tie threads together in a minimalist way that just screams of the sheer talent within alongside an overall sensational round up to help give the series a rounded feel. Finally back all that up with great pace, some memorable villains but perhaps most of all with a scope that is nearly as big within the pages as the universe itself and you know that you've had a really satisfactory read. Great stuff.
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on 28 April 2016
The last book of the Shoal series (if you don't count Marauder), however, I felt it had lost its way and the focus wasn't as tight as the previous two books. Maybe it's just me. Still a reasonable read to round of the series.
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on 9 December 2013
I really don't like having to write all these words. I think it is an imposition. However, I did enjoy the Shoal series and wanted to acknowledge it so am stuck with Amazon's ridiculous dictum of writing a minimum of 20 words.
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on 9 August 2013
I really enjoyed this book and am looking forward to reading the fourth in the series. Gary Gibson is fast becoming one of my favourite sci-fi authors, having been brought up with Charles Clarke and Isaac Azimoff.
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on 12 February 2014
Nicely written space opera - dealing with the consequence of superscience and competeing species.

Very like Alastair Reynolds Revelation Space series. Would recommend it to anyone who was a reynolds fan.
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on 3 November 2011
Gary Gibson was definitely on my must-buy list after Stealing Light and Nova War, but - having just finished Empire of Light - I'm sorry to say he drops the ball badly on the third outing.

The plot lacks tension as solutions to problems present themselves seeming without any effort on behalf of either of the main protagonists... super weapons just crop up out of nowhere as gifts (if the Shoal knew about them, then why the heck didn't they use them in their war against the Emissaries?) or just neatly resolve themselves. The vast majority of the action takes place aboard one ship and as a result feels claustrophobic and a little... well... boring. In fact, by the end you're desperate for the journey to end - if I had to sit through yet another section about drive-spine maintenance I felt like I was going to weep! I found myself wanting to skip through sections and found it difficult to maintain my interest as the main characters began to merge together into one big "tough guy" blur - what happened to the pacifist Lucas or the damaged and vulnerable Dakota?

The first two books were excellent, and Gibson is a talented writer - but frankly he need to let this one mature for far longer... At times it seems like he's bored and constrained by the universe he has created - like he was in a rush to dispose of the Shoal Sequence and get started his new book - and it showed.
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on 10 July 2013
An exciting and entertaining ending to the series. An enjoyable sci fi read. This whole series has been easy going and fun to read. :)
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on 13 February 2013
bought this as a present- the recipient was very pleased as it's part of a series. The book arrived in good time and was well priced.
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on 12 August 2014
This minimum word count is a bit of a bind but nevertheless I do recommend this trilogy highly ... done.
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