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The Prefect Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Gollance Publishing
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575078189
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575078185
  • Product Dimensions: 17.2 x 3.2 x 24.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 726 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,131,574 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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First Sentence
Thalia Ng felt her weight increasing as the elevator sped down the spoke from the habitat's docking hub. Read the first page
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By petitetoilonrouge on Sept. 26 2010
Format: Paperback
Not as epic as the previous volumes in the Revelation Space series, more of a police thriller really, but Reynolds is at his best, drawing us in. My favorite of his yet?
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Format: Kindle Edition
I've read a lot of Reynolds' books...the man does not lack for talent. So with The Prefect, it's a real pleasure to return to the "Revelation Space" universe. It's almost like the opposite of Chasm City..now we get to see the Yellowstone system during it's glory days, as opposed to it's rust-belt days. None of that tedious "Inhibitor" stuff from the later-universe novels.

Now if I've had any quarrel with Reynolds, he has a bad habit (of late) of leaving his books unfinished. Or perhaps not so much "unfinished" as tacking on a very rushed ending. "Absolution Gap" was an almost unforgivable example of this.

So how does The Prefect hold up? Story wise, we find ourselves back in the Yellowstone system during the glory days. The life in the Glitter Band is very well fleshed out...we really get to see what a "democratic anarchy" would look like (and it looks a lot like social media, oddly). No plagues have hit, no nanite swarms are threatening and there are no whispers from weird alien species from other universes...No, we're back into the world of Calvin Sylveste and his experiments (albeit after the so-called "80"), into the weird and wonderful self-contained habitats swirling around Yellowstone. Chasm City is at it's peak, although the story never goes there. And we start off with a murder-mystery.

Now I really enjoyed the "murder mystery" angle of Century Rain. In this novel Reynolds has refined it even further. The story doesn't get bogged down anywhere (unlike the last two books of the Revelation Space tale). It moves at a rapid clip and doesn't give you time to stop and ask "what's an abstraction?" or "what is quickmatter?
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By John M. Ford TOP 100 REVIEWER on Feb. 22 2013
Format: Paperback
Panoply keeps the peace between the ten thousand independent habitats orbiting the planet Yellowstone. Its prefects can only enforce rules governing relationships between habitats and ensure that all citizens are allowed to vote on cross-habitat issues. Sometimes prefects see things they would prefer not to see, but they cannot interfere.

Field Prefect Tom Dreyfus comes across as a 20th century private detective. He is smart, weary, cynical, and doesn't make diplomacy his first priority. He and his two deputies enforce Panoply's mandates. Thalia Ng is inexperienced, grateful to work with Dreyfus, and eager to prove herself. The other deputy is a hyperpig. (This is science fiction, remember.) Sparver is tough, loyal, and grimly tolerant of verbal abuse from people who don't like pigs. Dreyfus and his team investigate the explosive destruction of the Ruskin-Sartorious habitat and loss of nearly a thousand lives. As the investigation proceeds they encounter betrayal, more mass murder, and a fascinating menagerie of characters with competing agendas.

The book follows a familiar crime-story plot line, enhanced by science fiction settings, people and technology. The "Glitter Band" civilization and the various habitat subcultures are inventive and spring some interesting surprises. Characters include artificial intelligences ranging from low-fidelity "beta-level" copies of humans to powerful, incomprehensible entities like the Clockmaker. Humans have technological enhancements as well as cultural and individual quirks. The most interesting tech tidbit is the prefect's "whiphound" weapon. Picture a lightsabre which exudes, instead of a truncated laser beam, a long metallic tendril.
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Format: Paperback
Well, as far as the revelation space universe is concerned, Alastair Reynolds could probably write a thousand stories about it without getting boring.

I found this book a little frustrating though. The story seemed to be dragging on for no real reason. Also there were technical issues that I see with the story line: if Aurora can manage to create thousands or millions of weapons using less than a dozen factories, why couldn't the other habitats in the glitter band not manage to produce a similar number of counter measures?

I also found the fact that the "bad guy" was able to escape so easily from Panoply. There always seems to be a convenient fact missing from the story line.

So, if I compare this to other of Alastair Reynolds work, like Century Rain or House of Suns (both are 5's in my mind), this one is a 3.
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By Spencer21 on Aug. 8 2014
Format: Paperback
Written for hard core science fiction fans. The best book I have ever read by Alastair Reynolds.
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