I had to give up on the Age of Misrule. I just couldn’t do it any more – I found I didn’t really know much about the characters, let alone care about them or what happened to them. I had a hard time differentiating between some of them even. I made it to about 1/3 of the way through the second book when I caught myself thinking before bed, “Oh, I don’t want to read tonight…” which is never, NEVER a good sign for a book for me. So, I shelved it.
And was thoroughly excited to pick up Absolution Gap by Alastair Reynolds, the third and final book in the “Revelation Space” trilogy. A bit unusually for me, I’ve not read this trilogy back-to-back-to-back, like I normally like to do. It’s been pretty good that way, as Reynolds’ books tend to be dense, packed with information, and mostly by the end of one two things have happened: I end up loving the book, and I don’t want to read another one of his right away.
I picked this one up because I had been reading so much fantasy recently that I decided it was time for a shift and I’ve been having my hard sci-fi/space opera itch lately (probably cause I’ve been playing a lot of Mass Effect 2). I’m about 80 pages into it so far and I think Reynolds’ writing has gotten better with each novel. It’s tighter, somehow, which is daunting, given how much information is already in his books. But I love reading about stars and star systems – the grandeur of it all impresses me. I love how much he knows about astrophysics, and I’ll happily go to his school for several pages if that’s what he wants to do. This trilogy took some time getting into, but the payoff is definitely worth it – the end of the second book, Redemption Ark, has really stuck with me and this final installment picks up right where he left off. The only thing I would say might be helpful to add is a glossary of terms (astrophysics), factions, characters, and locations.