Friday, March 9, 2012

Absolution Gap

Absolution GapAbsolution Gap by Alastair Reynolds
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The final novel in the Revelation Space Trilogy concludes one of the great space operas of the modern era. Though not the best book of the trilogy (I reserve that spot for Revelation Space itself), Absolution Gap brings the vast, centuries-spanning epic to a satisfactory conclusion. My only dis-satisfaction with the novel (*spoiler alert*) involved the nascent leadership struggle between Scorpio and Vasko that never seemed to carry any consequential weight. This is a shame, given the compelling character of Scorpio, a seemingly minor character in the second book, Redemption Ark, who unwillingly becomes one of the main characters in the drama. The problem is not with Scorpio, but with Vasko, who, while we are led to believe is going to come into conflict with Scorpio, only really does so as just another member of the discontented opposition to Scorpio's rule. When Vasko should shine, he timidly fades into the background.

That one qualm aside, this trilogy is probably the best series of Science Fiction novels I've read since Gene Wolfe's Book of the New Sun and Book of the Long Sun, though comparisons between Wolfe's works and Reynold's trilogy would be an apple-to-oranges comparison; unfair to both authors.

Despite its one weakness, which is minor in the grand scheme of things, but could have made the book near-perfect, I give my highest regard to this work. This is one of those books that I, as a writer, had wished I had written. I'm sorry to see the end of the trilogy, but it will be with me, in my mind, for some time to come. Here's to hoping that a movie version is never made. This is too good to be spoiled by Hollywood!

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