Customer Reviews for

Absolution Gap (Revelation Space Series #4)

Average Rating 4.5
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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2006

    Different, but still great entry in this space opera series.

    One thing that this book shows is that Alastair Reynolds is an author who isn't satisfied with just giving us more of the same when he writes a sequel--a factor which, in my opinion, can be a plus. This concluding book in the Revelation Space series takes a little step back from the cosmic concepts and noir feel of the previous two books and, after a dramatic beginning, develops at a more leisurely pace. The book focuses on two threads. Clavain and the refugees from his expedition have been marooned on the (aptly named) planet Ararat since the end of Redemption Ark. They now face the return of Ana Khouri and their Conjoiner allies as well as the Inhibitors, the exterminating machines who have been chasing them. New characters are introduced at the moon Hela, where the obsessive Quaiche witnesses what he believes is a miracle: the disappearance, for a split second, of Haldora, the planet that Hela circles. He creates a religion centered around the miracle in which treaded cathedrals circle the moon to keep Haldora in view (so that the planet's disappearances are never missed). Years later, young Rashmika Els journeys to Quaiche's cathedral to try to prove her theories about the 'miracle,' a mystery which eventually proves to be relevant to defeating the Inhibitors. Parts of the story, especially on Hela, are slow, but it is punctuated by moments of action. The book's subtext of conflict between scientists and religious fanatics (echoing the previous two books' subtext of conflict between scientists and political fanatics) is interesting, though slightly overbearing at times. Also, the ending is a little anticlimactic. Aside from these points, I enjoyed this book, the conclusion to a trilogy which, though it doesn't necessarily break new ground in science fiction, is nevertheless entertaining and well thought out, a space opera with neat (and scientifically plausible) future technologies and a unique mood to it.

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