Kudos to Brandon Sanderson for writing a stellar fantasy novel without relying on the Tolkien fantasy tropes. This world is vast and varied. The races are unique, and the characters are complex. The first novel serves the dual-purpose of both building the world and moving the action along sufficiently. After I finished the book, I immediately bought the second one. I’m invested in the characters, and already coming up with my own theories about how some of the stories play out. Even for some of the more predictable plot lines, I still enjoyed the suspense and the drama involved in drawing out what seemed inevitable. But still, many things caught me by surprise and made for a great plot twist. It’s an excellent start to the series.
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.
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.
There were times during this book where I thought I was listening to a self-aggrandizing autobiography, and just as I was judging the author for a pointless diversion, BAM! He’d hit me upside the head with something mind-blowing, earth-shattering, or just laugh-out-loud funny. This book is now on my unequivocal recommendation list. GET IT, READ IT.
When I set out to catalog my library, I couldn’t wait to write this series’ review. This series is unlike anything you’ve ever read. It’s 100% sci-fi but the technology almost seems magical in its military applications, yet is described mathematically. The effect is a rich world, deeply imagined, and well executed.
The story arc is intensely character-driven, and developed from the beginning with the end in mind—in other words, it all ties in neatly throughout the book. But yet, it’s not laid out directly on a straight path from past to present to future. The plot twists and turns, the timelines shift, and the perspective changes. The series is deeply engaging.
Be warned, it’s not entry-level sci-fi. For that, I recommend 2001 Space Odyssey, Ender’s Game, or Ready Player One. This series is for the sci-fi nerd looking for something that pushes the boundaries, breaks the norm, and yet is still interesting and engrossing.