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
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.
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