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