Top positive review
This is The Book to Start Reading Alastair Reynolds
Reviewed in the United States on July 15, 2016
This is the book to start off with Alastair Reynolds. It has the breadth of his style and the kind of frame of mind you will need for most of his works. Especially his Revelation Space series and books in that universe, and the one steam punk book he has written. And it is a very good read to boot.
To set the tone, the book is intelligent, well paced, has good characters, is believable in a scifi perspective and nicely (as far as I am concerned) almost approaches a Phillip K Dick twistedness at times, but is definitely more cogent than say a 'Valis'. It combines good current knowledge of science and some good extrapolations and ideas of what the future might bring. I like that ships do not travel faster than light and how it examines the concept of "deep time" in galactic travels. The characters are interesting, sympathetic, and human. And the are well developed and three dimensional.
The book only dipped once into a place that I had trouble with. Without giving too much away, there was a need to question a bad guy, and the technique they were using seemed to be introduced as a device that was there because it might sound cool or interesting. Aside from not being useful even as portrayed, it just looks like something Reynolds came up with for added coolness, and tried too hard. I don't know, maybe the publisher's editors said he had to add some cool factor (which never works which is why it is a possibility). At that one point, and only that point was the story a little rough getting through. However the strength of the rest of the book easily allows me to rate it 5 stars.