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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Reynolds yet?
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?
Published on Sept. 26 2010 by petitetoilonrouge

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3.0 out of 5 stars Good story, awesome universe but a few frustrations
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...
Published on April 24 2011 by grenouye


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Reynolds yet?, Sept. 26 2010
This review is from: Prefect (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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4.0 out of 5 stars A fun visit to the glory days of Yellowstone, April 14 2015
By 
Kevin G. Fisher "kgf" (Ontario) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Prefect (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?" You get dragged along into a whole new world surrounded by lingo you won't be familiar with...but you will, if you keep reading. That's why I refuse to say "for hard core sci fi fans only." In this novel you are quickly drawn into a foreign universe and like any tourist, you learn by sticking around and listening to the locals talk.

Now again to my point about endings...did Reynolds' pull an "Absolution Gap" on us again? No, not quite. But the ending did seem a bit rushed. I feel like we could have seen a bit more than we did. But it in no way revisited the absolute travesty that was "Absolution Gap." He loses a star only because I wanted a bit more.

I'm not going to spoil any plot points here. This book is stand-alone, like "Chasm City". It's not part of the "Revelation Space" tale per se, but it's right at the heart of that universe 100 years before all hell breaking loose. For hard-core followers of Reynolds' work, you'll absolutely love having the history behind Revelation Space brought to life. For new readers well..it's a trip to another world, so sit back and enjoy it. Don't worry about the lingo, you'll pick it up as you go. And this book makes a great gateway into "Revelation Space" and beyond.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good, Hard-Boiled Space Opera, Feb. 22 2013
By 
John M. Ford "johnDC" (near DC, MD USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Prefect (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. The tendril can be used as a whip, stiffened into a sword, or given instructions and allowed to slither away on an independent mission. Readers learn a lot about whiphounds.

The book delivers a good story and an enjoyable tour of a well-conceived science fiction setting. Although the story stands alone, it is well-integrated with the rest of Alistair Reynolds' Revelation Space fiction. It answers a few questions from the series and raises a few more. Highly recommended as a good read.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Good story, awesome universe but a few frustrations, April 24 2011
This review is from: Prefect (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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5.0 out of 5 stars Very well written., Aug. 8 2014
This review is from: Prefect (Paperback)
Written for hard core science fiction fans. The best book I have ever read by Alastair Reynolds.
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Prefect by Alastair Reynolds (Paperback - April 10 2008)
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