Science Fiction Book Review

Redemption Ark

(2002) Alastair Reynolds, Gollancz, 10.99, trdpbk, 567pp, ISBN 0-575-06880-9


In Revelation Space around the planet Resurgam, humans tripped an alien alarm system that alerts the Inhibitors that life in the galaxy has gotten out of hand again. Known to have caused several extinctions of intelligent civilisations, there may be little that can stand against them except, possibly, the weapons cache recovered by Triumvir Volyova. Unfortunately for her, she has been declared a war criminal for her actions in Revelation Space and Clavain, of the Conjoiners, has also been sent to take possession of the weapons as has Skade (seen in Chasm City), who is part of the Conjoiner Inner Sanctum. Antoinette Bax just wants to bury her father, but space around Yellowstone has become a contested volume in the Conjoiner's war against the Demarchists. Then the Inhibitors enter the Resurgam system and start demolishing three moons to provide building material for something else...

Reynolds' maintains a high standard in this third novel, revealing a bit more of the universe he has created. And a complex and wonderful universe it is too! There are plenty of new things to think about for fans of the universe, not least the fascinating motivation of the Inhibitors, and the novel itself is an entertaining roller-coaster of action and plot, with sympathetic and intriguing characters. If you've not started reading Reynolds yet, then it's about time you started...

Tony Chester

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