Absolution Gap (Revelation Space Series #4)

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"They are ancient killing machines, designed to locate and destroy any life form reaching a certain level of intelligence. Now, stirred from eons of sleep, the Inhibitors have descended on their latest target: Humanity." "The first wave of Inhibitors has sent war veteran Clavain and a ragtag group of refugees into hiding. Their leadership is faltering, and their situation is growing more desperate. But their little colony has just received an unexpected visitor: an avenging angel with the power to lead mankind to safety - or draw down its darkest ...
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2004 Hard cover New in fine dust jacket. Hardcover edition, as pictured. Dust jacket has minor tear and creases. Glued binding. Paper over boards. With dust jacket. 565 p. ... Audience: General/trade. Read more Show Less

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Absolution Gap (Revelation Space Series #4)

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Overview

"They are ancient killing machines, designed to locate and destroy any life form reaching a certain level of intelligence. Now, stirred from eons of sleep, the Inhibitors have descended on their latest target: Humanity." "The first wave of Inhibitors has sent war veteran Clavain and a ragtag group of refugees into hiding. Their leadership is faltering, and their situation is growing more desperate. But their little colony has just received an unexpected visitor: an avenging angel with the power to lead mankind to safety - or draw down its darkest enemy." As she leads them to an apparently insignificant moon light-years away, it begins to dawn on Clavain and his companions that to beat one enemy, it may be necessary to forge an alliance with something much worse.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
Magnificent. Stupendous. Extraordinary. No, these aren't superlatives for the latest must-have infomercial gadget; they're adjectives that describe Absolution Gap, the third and final book in Welsh author Alastair Reynold's Revelation Space trilogy (Revelation Space and Redemption Ark).

Humankind is valiantly fighting extinction. The Inhibitors -- a seemingly unstoppable, self-replicating mechanical scourge designed to suppress the emergence of star-faring intelligence throughout the universe -- has humanity on the run. With increasingly few pockets of human civilization left undestroyed, those still alive have to figure out a way to defeat the mysterious black machines before humankind is eradicated. Key to humanity's survival is Nevil Clavain, a legendary military strategist, and Scorpio, a bio-engineered pig-man, leaders of a colony of refugees on the planet Ararat. Their objective is as incredible as it is impossible: to wake up a long-dormant sentient spaceship and transport a transcendently intelligent infant to an ice-covered moon where a madman is prophesizing the End of Days and planning to maneuver a massive, mobile cathedral across a 40-kilometer-long alien construct known as Absolution Gap.

Reminiscent of Golden Age space operas like Isaac Asimov's Foundation trilogy and E. E. "Doc" Smith's Lensmen saga, Reynolds's Revelation Space novels are simply masterworks of science fiction. Painted on a vast canvas of intergalactic space that encompasses several sentient races and packed with numerous interweaving plotlines, dozens of fascinating characters, and enough diverse thematic subject matter to fill twice as many books, this shelf-bending saga is admirably upholding the exceedingly high standards set by Smith and Asimov. You want space opera? Look no further than the Revelation Space saga. Paul Goat Allen

Publishers Weekly
The final volume in British author Reynolds's SF trilogy that began with Revelation Space (2001) fulfills all the staggering promise of the earlier books, and then some. The world Hela, an airless moon of the gas giant Haldora, is remarkable for two things: relics of the extinct alien race called the scuttlers, and the Quaicheist faith, whose observers (aided by infection with a virus that induces religious fervor) watch Haldora in the hope of viewing one of its mysterious, split-second disappearances. Church records show the disappearances are slowly increasing in frequency and duration. Rumors abound, and arriving pilgrims confirm that Haldora's changing behavior is a sign of the end times. When his indoctrinating virus weakens on occasion, however, Quaicheist founder Horris Quaiche has other ideas-as does young iconoclast Rashmika Els, self-taught scuttler archeologist. Meanwhile, unhappy war veteran Nevil Clavain leaves self-imposed exile on the planet Ararat to help his friend, human-pig hybrid Scorpio, and rejoin the battle against the implacable Inhibitors, "wolf" machines that seek out and destroy star-faring civilizations. From a slow start, Reynolds's plot rapidly builds momentum, hurtling to a stunning conclusion. Cinematic imagery and strong characters ably carry this juggernaut of a story, with Big Ideas strewn about like pebbles on a beach. It's not the best book to introduce Reynolds to those who've never read him, but it's without a doubt a fitting finale to the series, a landmark in hard SF space opera. Roebert Kirby at Peters, Fraser and Dunlop. (June 1) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
As the killing machines known as the Inhibitors move inexorably through space, targeting the human race for destruction, ex-Conjoiner war veteran Clavain and his companion, Scorpio, continue to battle their implacable foe. When a bridge in space that shouldn't exist is discovered, several groups, looking for a way to defeat the Inhibitors, make their way to the anomaly. The conclusion to Reynolds's massive space opera trilogy (Redemption Space; Revelation Ark) features complex political intrigue, space battles, and intellectual challenges. A good choice for most sf collections. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
"Fulfills all the staggering promise of [Reynolds's] earlier books, and then some.... A fitting finale to the series, a landmark in hard SF space opera." —-Publishers Weekly Starred Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780441011582
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 6/1/2004
  • Series: Revelation Space Series , #4
  • Edition description: First American Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 576
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.72 (d)

Meet the Author


Alastair Reynolds is the author of many short stories and eight novels, including Chasm City, winner of the British Science Fiction Association's Award for Best Novel, and House of Suns.

British narrator John Lee has read audiobooks in almost every conceivable genre, from Charles Dickens to Patrick O'Brian. He has won numerous Audie Awards and AudioFile Earphones Awards, and he was named a Golden Voice by AudioFile in 2009.

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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 42 )
Rating Distribution

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(23)

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(4)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 42 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2004

    Great finale

    Over two decades ago Clavain, Scorpio and refugees landed on the Pattern Juggler world of Ararat. Over time Clavain and Scorpio led the development of a thriving community. However, in the past half a year, Clavain has become increasingly reclusive and neglectful of his duties until lights in the sky proclaim that their enemy, the Inhibitors, apparently have found them. Now they must flee their haven choosing a moon that orbits a weird gas giant planet................................. On the moon Hela, exists the strange Quaichist cult with their enormous movable Cathedrals. The cult with their movable cathedrals follows the track of the gas giant Haldora that the satelite orbits. Clavain and his exiles arrive at Haldora where they will either save humanity from the Inhibitors or enable the enemy to complete the final solution.................................... The final tale of the Revelation Space trilogy is an entertaining science fiction tale that will please readers who prefer a cerebral tale with limited military action. The story line contains several brilliantly developed concepts that will send many readers comparing the fate of the protagonists with that of our earth-bound mankind¿s providence. Action seekers will find the pace slow and the battle warriors will wonder why there are such short abrupt skirmishes. Still ABSOLUTION GAP is an intriguing look at religion, war, societies, and economics in outer space, just more passively highbrow than active exploits................................ Harriet Klausner

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 7, 2012

    Amazing ending to the trilogy!

    Amazing ending to the trilogy!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2012

    Personally, I found Absolution Gap to be a huge let down. It's a

    Personally, I found Absolution Gap to be a huge let down. It's a shame because the two other books in the Revelation Space series were great. I struggled through this one because I was determined to finish it. When I finally got to the end there was no satisfying resolution,The main bad guys are left to wreak havoc; the few that are eliminated are done so in very unsatisfying ways. I felt like Reynolds just got tired of writing and said "to hell with it".. I don't blame him, it took me three times as long to read as it took to read Revelation Space and Redemption Ark because I kept falling asleep after getting through a dozen pages or so. On the good side, it's a sure cure for insomnia.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 29, 2013

    exceptionally well written can't say enough positive

    i had never read anything by a. reynolds before but am ever so glad i did. you must read all three of the revelation space series. reynolds is imho one of the best contemporary writers of our time.

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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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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2005

    Brilliant but tiring

    Perhaps Peter Hamilton can be partly blamed for this new trend in hugely long space opera. (Perhaps, too, writers are being encouraged by editors to bloat their books from 350 pages to 500+) Alastair Reynolds is a far better writer, and there is no doubting his creative genius. But this book is simply too long at 750 pages. With any good trilogy, part of the fun is going back and rereading it and seeing the things you missed or appreciating the things you got. But to be frank, if the third book of an anthology is as long as this, one feels disinclined to reread the entire trilogy, which is a pity as there is no denying the overall brilliance of the concepts, etc. Recommended because of the strength of the invention, and the overall quality of the writing but with reservations.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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