Top positive review
This story exhibits many "hard" aspects of hardware type science-fiction that will cause long time fans weep with joy
Reviewed in the United States on March 20, 2017
Absolution Gap - Novel, Science Fiction - [0742 - 2017-03-22]
"Absolution Gap"(2003) by Alastair Reynolds is a science fiction novel and is also known as book 4 in the 5 book (so far) "Revelation Space" series published during 2000-2007. Curious readers may ask can this novel be read without reading the prior books "Revelation Space"(2000), "Chasm City"(2001) and "Redemption Ark"(2002). In truth yes it can but your enjoyment and the comprehension of story events would be greatly enhanced if you had read the other books. You should read, if possible "Revelation Space"(2000) and "Redemption Ark"(2002) since they along with "Absolution Gap"(2003) form a trilogy. The novel "Chasm City"(2001) is a stand alone tale. In lieu of reading the books (not recommended) I would research the extensive and detailed articles about these books in the Wikipedia.
In this long novel, my paperback was 756 pages with a small font, several apparent unrelated plot themes wind and twist together to a mystifying inconclusive conclusion. Talk about cliff hangers and unanswered questions this novel would make a case study.
I will not attempt to summarize the plot - it is just too detailed and involved with so many factions and characters I could not do justice to the book or to the reader of these comments. I will comment on just one of the key themes - since it happens to be a science-fiction concept that has always interested me: spiritual/religious ideas in speculative fiction. Author Reynolds takes what appears to be supernatural intervention to save a spaceman's life and extrapolates that incident into a cult of worship. The faith object - a planet the disappears - draws pilgrims throughout the galaxy to a small insignificant moon out on the fringes of known space. The authors audacious extrapolations of religious belief, the cult that results, and the notion of enormous, constantly moving cathedrals is, in my opine, a mesmerizing concept that delighted this reader.
This is an elaborate and detailed science-fiction story that kept me up many evenings. Alastair Reynolds crams an encyclopedia of background in this novel that induced this reader to put aside many required tasks to finish this book. I am not exaggerating when I use the term encyclopedia. As mentioned the Wikipedia has numerous pages on the characters, factors and locations of Revelation Space. Readers are strongly encouraged to check out the information - I was impressed, indeed.
Mr. Reynolds, with his Ph.D. in astronomy is a master at technological extrapolation. Therefore this story exhibits many "hard" aspects of hardware type science-fiction that will cause long time fans weep with joy and others to whimper with annoyance. I wept, oh yes I wept!