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Reynolds is a master of the short form and this is not his best work
on 6 June 2017
I discovered Alistair Reynolds fairly recently as I begun to switch my literary interests from fantasy to sci-fi. After reading some of his great short stories (from Galactic North and Diamond Dogs/Turquoise Days) I was really excited about finally going into his magnum opus, the famed Revelation Space series. I even searched the web for the "correct" reading order which advised to start with this book. And boy, I hope it means they get better in this order. The first half of the book is just a set up which, while later proves to be necessary, feels more like a chore to read through. It does contain interesting information about the background but makes you wait for the actual story with dwindling anticipation. Furtunately afterwards it gets really good...for a while. As things start happening and pieces click into places you get excited about the next story twist and for the most part Reynolds delivers but right at the end he seems to have lost track or interest or run out of ideas as he brings everything to a stop with a rather silly deus-ex-machina resolution befitting a teenager rather than a serious author that I have no doubt he is. A younger reader might be satisfied with this but as someone with a bit more years behind me and now deeply immersed in hard sci-fi I can't help but feel disappointed in the overall result. Maybe he got the silliness out of his system with this one and the next book is better. I'm about to find out.