Series: Revenger by Alastair Reynolds

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If you’re a fan of other Alastair Reynolds books and series such as the Revelation Space series, then you can appreciate his ability to create compelling characters, vast universes, and yet highly specific and detailed individual worlds. The Revenger series is all of those things, and yet completely and utterly different than any other book of his I’ve read. 

Set in a ruined solar system far in the future, humanity continually rises up from the rubble of previous ruined civilizations, spreads out within the system, and relies on the technology of past ages, most of which they can’t replicate or build upon. While individuals struggle to keep themselves alive in the chaos of space, there’s a deeper conspiracy underlying the story, one that is just starting to get revealed at the end of book two. 

As more books come out, I’ll continue to add them here. In the meantime, this is my new favorite series to recommend. 


Genre: Sci-Fi, Steampunk
Series: Revenger | Subjects: Series Review
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Shadow Captain audiobook cover

Shadow Captain by Alastair Reynolds

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Wow. This series is so good. What other author but Alastair Reynolds can create a world that blends space travel with steampunk? OK, the habitats are not strictly steampunk (i.e. powered by steam) but the descriptions make the habitations sound old-timey, gritty, and like everyone is bustling about with a cane and monocle. But I digress. 

Book two in the series is told from Adrana’s point of view, and is just as insightful and intense. The action doesn’t move quite as fast as in Revenger, but it is just as good, and the deeper conspiracy is just under the surface the whole time. 

I’m loving this series and can’t wait for book three to come out. 


Genre: Sci-Fi, Steampunk
Series: Revenger |
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The End of All Things audiobook cover

The End of All Things by John Scalzi

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Solid finish to a solid series. John Scalzi does two things very well: 1) truly alien aliens 2) humor in the midst of otherwise serious books. I like the finish here because the story is told from multiple perspectives, starting first with a “brain in a box.” As each character adds to the story, moving it forward, the drama and tension builds. I was a touch disappointed in the final chapter, otherwise this would be five stars. I do recommend the series because its enjoyable, different, and filled with great, quick reads. 


Genre: Sci-Fi
Series: Old Man’s War |
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Artemis by Andy Weir

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Andy Weir is best known for The Martian—which was also a decent movie—and seemingly writing hard sci-fi, a sub-genre that tries to adhere to the laws of physics as closely as possible. As I started Artemis, I thought I was in for another Martian, but it turned out to be completely different, and I’m glad of that. It’s a hard sci-fi caper—a term the protagonist uses in the book, and is quite fitting for the whole thing—that stands on its own as an excellent book. If you haven’t read either, ask yourself, would you rather be stranded on Mars “science-ing the shit out of [things]” or would you rather partake in a caper on the Moon settlement, Artemis. I’d choose Artemis.


Genre: Hard Sci-Fi, Sci-Fi
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The Algebraist by Iain M. Banks

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The Algebraist had been heartily recommended to me by a friend, and heartily recommended against by another. Naturally, I had to pick it up. My take: it’s not at the top of my reco list, but it’s not in my hall of shame. I enjoyed it, found it somewhat thought-provoking, and thought the plot twists were interesting. My opinion might be biased to the negative because I had just (finally) finished Iain M. Banks’ Matter, book 8 of the Culture series, and hated it. It’s fair to say I was a bit put off by Banks’ style in The Algebraist after forcing myself to finish Matter. Even with that negative bias,

I still enjoyed this one. It’s a very large stand-alone novel that takes a bit too long to develop for my liking—at least for a novel that really only follows one character in depth. I don’t mind a long read, but I want to dig deep on multiple characters like Peter F. Hamilton does. For this length, I wanted more than just one main character. 


Genre: Sci-Fi
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