Thursday, 11 August 2011

Terminal World

by Alistair Reynolds
ISBN-13: 978-0575088504

I waited a long, long time for Terminal World. Even though it came out for the kindle at around the same time as the hardback, I had a feeling the price would come down at the same time as the paperback release. It was worth the wait, as a week after the paper back release the kindle version halved in price.

I'm afraid it's the same old story (no pun intended) with Alistair Reynold's post Revelation Space work. It lacks the depth and breadth and just isn't as good. And like House of Suns and Pushing Ice it sets the scene for a sequel, but you're left wondering if a sequel will ever materialise.

I did, however, love the characters in this book, especially Meroka. She was a real, down to earth, tell it like she sees it kind of a girl. If I met her on a dark night, I would want to be on her side! The main character, Quillion, who started off looking like he was going to be a weak, weaselly sort of a person turned out to be really strong. I think the book could have explored his past a bit more.

Parts of Terminal World really did have me gripped. The climax was a little disappointing and lacked Reynold's usual attention to detail and complexity. It's almost as if he got bored and didn't follow it through properly. The actual theme that was played out did take me by surprise, I still came away not feeling I fully understood everything. Maybe that was the idea?

I believe Reynold's next book will be for children. I'll still read it, but I imagine it'll be quite different. Hopefully still dark and full of space opera though.

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