Alastair Reynolds’ latest sci-fi novel is entitled ‘Blue Remembered Earth’, it was released earlier this year and here is the full review. The novel is the first in a planned trilogy called ‘Poseidon’s Children’ and as such it suffers from the fact that it tries too hard to be both epic and the necessity that certain plot points can’t be fully developed yet.
The author Alastair Reynolds first rose to fame with his Revelation Space novels first released in 2000, the standalone sequel Chasm City still occupies a warm spot in my heart. Over the following years we have seen more sequels which didn’t live up to the original but we ave also seen more standalone novels such as Century Rain and the recent Terminal World which saw the author try his hand at the Steampunk genre (and did so excellently). Due to his success it was reported that Reynolds got a big contract to write ten more novels which sounded too me a little like he was going to write pulp fiction and not the hard-sci-fi we come to admire. His latest novel Blue Remembered Earth may be a victim of that change.
Blue Remembered Earth…
The story takes place roughly in the year 2160, during which technology has of course advanced further but perhaps not as considerably as could be expected. The story follows Geoffrey and Sunday Akinya, two siblings belonging to a powerful family that has vast interests in space exploration. The families legacy was built by Eunice Akinya, their grandmother, who exiled herself to a space station. Her death sparks a search for answers to her ‘big secret’ by following the bread crumbs she left behind. The last revelation is that she didn’t die at all but instead traveled on board an alien ship she found just before her exile, leaving a digital proxy to deal with her family, a deception that only worked with the cooperation of the families friend Memphis. Eunice tasks her family members to prepare humanity for the stars by following her lead. Here the story ends…
I have only briefly described the plot so as not spoiler too much, but I have to say that the end was already clear early on and that most parts of the story were a bit of drag on the pacing. Too many characters and scenario’s conform to the Cyberpunk genre and several side plots seemed merely to exist so the author can forcefully explain his vision for the future, these divergences mostly distract though they might be hints for the sequels. The book seems to suffer from the fact the author is trying to make three novel space opera, somehow I doubt it that was his goal when he wrote Revelation Space. The author may have given himself too much freedom to develop the plot and as such it feels a bit thin at times. Here is hoping that the sequels will be different. Expect the second novel to be released in early 2013.
Score; 7.5 /10.
Conclusion; one of the weakest Alastair Reynolds novels to date.
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