The Prefect Paperback
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Top Customer Reviews
Needless to say, I thoroughly enjoyed this book; Reynolds has not produced a poor story yet. Set in a consistent hard sci-fi universe carefully plotted and populated with plausible characters, The Prefect adds further depth and solidity to the Revelation universe.
More Alastair Reynolds, now!
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?Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Great book but a little lacking in all the stuff that made the others amazingPublished 10 months ago by Electronics Consumer
Written for hard core science fiction fans. The best book I have ever read by Alastair Reynolds.Published 23 months ago by Spencer21