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Biased and superficial Science Fiction reviews

Absolution Gap

Copyright 2003 by Alastair Reynolds

SOJALS rating:     
one SOJALS point one SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point    Mediocre (2/5)

I first read this on the 29th May 2004.

This novel concludes the "Chasm City" series. Well, I'm not sure that it concludes the series exactly, but it certainly terminates some of the characters.

After a twenty-year sojourn in the new colony world of Ararat, Nevil Clavain and Scorpio take up the struggle again against the Inhibitors, the alien destroyers of space-faring lifeforms.

Meanwhile on the planet Hela, Dean Quaiche has begun a new religion and the tenets of this religion may provide the key to defeating the Inhibitors. On this same planet an exceptional young lady with an unusual talent has decided that the religious authorities have got it completely wrong and she is going to force them to see the truth.

This is another big book from Mr Reynolds. As I said before (although not at quite such a length as he might have done) there is an excess of verbiage. However, he appears to have taken my other criticism more seriously and I repeat: some characters really do get killed. Those that survive undergo real character development.

There are of course some wonderful and grotesque ideas; mobile cathedrals slowly circumnavigating the planet Haldora, worshipping the gas giant in skies above them; the captain fused into his spacecraft; limited porcine lifetimes; technological designs dictated by unborn children and the surprisingly un-catastrophic cache weapons.

It really is a pretty exciting read, and is a reasonable conclusion to this series. However, it does just go on, on and on. The novel fails to realize its full potential (or I was rushed when reading it).

Loaded on the 14th August 2005.
Cover of Absolution Gap
Cover art by Chris Moore

Reviews of other works with covers by Chris Moore:
House Of Suns
The Star-Crossed
The Winds of Altair
Forty Thousand In Gehenna
The Dragon's Nine Sons
The Visitors
Alien Sex
Preferred Risk
Good News From Outer Space
The Stone Canal
Only Forward
Broken Angels
Echoes Of Earth
Across Realtime

Reviews of other works with covers by Chris Moore and Don Puckey:
When We Were Real

Reviews of other works with covers by Chris Moore and Judy Morello:
Orphans Of Earth
Heirs Of Earth

Reviews of other works with covers by Chris Moore and Richard Carr:
Revelation Space
Chasm City
Redemption Ark