Top positive review
HARD Science Fiction
Reviewed in the United States on January 29, 2020
After I read the author’s Revelation Space, I was conflicted as to whether to proceed to Chasm City, which is listed a volume two of a series. Revelation Space was maybe the “hardest” science fiction work I’ve read in the last ten years (maybe some Charles Stross works approach it), and the complexity was a little over the top. However, I’d already purchased the first three volumes, so I read Chasm City and was very pleasantly surprised.
While Chasm City is set in the same “universe” as Revelation Space, it was far more approachable and enjoyable, in my opinion. Part of this may have been the underlying familiarity provided by the earlier book, but it was also definitely less reliant upon an underlying knowledge of quantum mechanics.
In any case, Redemption Ark is technically “book three” of the series, but actually reads much closer to a sequel of Revelation Space. Chasm City is almost a stand alone novel, with little connection to either the first or third books. You could read Redemption Ark immediately after Revelation Space, and in fact, may benefit by doing so, as there are many story lines that flow seamlessly between the two. Chasm City is a good story, but it can be read any time.
As in Revelation Space, Redemption Ark is replete with “rock hard” science fiction. The author goes to great pains to explain the physics behind many of his far future technology, though not to the detriment of the story, as I felt occurred in Revelation Space. If you enjoy space opera and hard science fiction, this will be right in your wheelhouse