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Arbie's Unoriginally Titled Book Blog

It's a blog! Mainly of book reviews.

Currently reading

Basics of Plasma Astrophysics
Claudio Chiuderi, Marco Velli
Progress: 58/250 pages
Ursula K. Le Guin: The Complete Orsinia: Malafrena / Stories and Songs (The Library of America)
Brian Attebery, Ursula K. Le Guin
Progress: 454/700 pages
Aurora: In Search of the Northern Lights
Melanie Windridge
Progress: 205/320 pages
A Student's Guide to Lagrangians and Hamiltonians
Patrick Hamill
Progress: 7/180 pages
Complete Poems, 1904-1962
E.E. Cummings
Progress: 164/1102 pages
The Complete Plays and Poems
E.D. Pendry, J.C. Maxwell, Christopher Marlowe
She Stoops to Conquer and Other Comedies (Oxford World's Classics)
Henry Fielding, David Garrick, Oliver Goldsmith
Progress: 159/448 pages
Gravitation (Physics Series)
Kip Thorne;Kip S. Thorne;Charles W. Misner;John Archibald Wheeler;John Wheeler
Progress: 48/1215 pages
I Am a Cat
Graeme Wilson, Aiko Ito, Sōseki Natsume
Progress: 410/638 pages
The Complete Novels of Jane Austen
Jane Austen
Progress: 651/1220 pages

Revenger, Alistair Reynolds

Revenger - Alastair Reynolds

Reynolds reverts to form in many respects with this tale of the distant future where humans plunder dangerous abandoned facilities for forgotten technologies and artefacts using solar wind powered spacecraft.


Gothic horror, morally questionable characters and body modification all make a come-back. Mysteries galore never went away, of course; most of them are explained and the inevitable revelation of deeper ones at the end is all present and correct. The story itself becomes gripping much faster than is usual with Reynolds, where one can normally expect the first third to travel along with very little momentum. In this case a dramatic and unexpected event kicks things into high gear pretty early on and the pace never really lets up from there. Unfortunately some of the revelations are telegraphed although others are total surprises.


One fine aspect of the novel is that the situation humanity finds itself in is not explicated by huge wodges of exposition but instead revealed slowly through the course of events - and where events don't illuminate, things remain obscure. A huge part of the fun here is figuring things out from the clues. Not everything is crystal clear by the end, which leaves scope for further work in the setting - something I'd be happy to see even if a direct sequel is, on past form, unlikely.