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4.0 2
by Alastair Reynolds

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A superb science fiction adventure set in the rubble of a ruined universe, this is a deep space heist story of kidnap, betrayal, alien artifacts and revenge.

The galaxy has seen great empires rise and fall. Planets have shattered and been remade. Amongst the ruins of alien civilizations, building our own from the rubble, humanity still


A superb science fiction adventure set in the rubble of a ruined universe, this is a deep space heist story of kidnap, betrayal, alien artifacts and revenge.

The galaxy has seen great empires rise and fall. Planets have shattered and been remade. Amongst the ruins of alien civilizations, building our own from the rubble, humanity still thrives.
And there are vast fortunes to be made, if you know where to find them...
Captain Rackamore and his crew do. It's their business to find the tiny, enigmatic worlds which have been hidden away, booby-trapped, surrounded by layers of protection - and to crack them open for the ancient relics and barely-remembered technologies inside. But while they ply their risky trade with integrity, not everyone is so scrupulous.
Adrana and Fura Ness are the newest members of Rackamore's crew, signed on to save their family from bankruptcy. Only Rackamore has enemies, and there might be more waiting for them in space than adventure and fortune: the fabled and feared Bosa Sennen in particular.
Revenger is a science fiction adventure story set in the rubble of our solar system in the dark, distant future - a tale of space pirates, buried treasure, and phantom weapons, of unspeakable hazards and single-minded heroism... and of vengeance...

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
★ 01/23/2017
This space adventure from lauded SF author Reynolds is an expert mix of the fantastical and horrific. The time is the very far future, and humankind has spread through a vastly wonderful but daunting universe. Arafura Ness, on the cusp of adulthood, is lured by her older sister, Adrana, into joining the crew of a spaceship seeking intermittently accessible caches of alien treasures. Humans have adapted to many strange circumstances; for example, the Ness sisters are valued because they have the talent to become bone readers, capable of mentally linking space travelers by probing the skulls of long-dead aliens. After an agreeable opening that reads like an SF version of Treasure Island, an attack by horrifyingly sadistic pirate Bosa Sennen shatters the comfortable role Arafura has been settling into and sets her off on the ruthless pursuit of revenge. Her success—or downfall, depending on how a reader views what she makes of herself—is convincing, satisfying, and scary. This is a remarkably creative, resonant space opera. (Mar.)
From the Publisher
"A swashbuckling thriller—Pirates of the Caribbean meets Firefly—that nevertheless combines the author's trademark hard SF with effective, coming-of-age characterization."
The Guardian

"Revenger is classic Reynolds-that is to say, top of the line science fiction, where characters are matched beautifully with ideas and have to find their place in a complex future. More!"—Greg Bear

Reynolds [is] one of the leading lights of the New Space Opera Movement . . . .
Revenger is tremendous fun."


Library Journal
Sisters Adrana and Arafura Ness run away from a safe life, hoping to earn money to help their father. They've been tested and found to have the rare ability to pick up the ghostly signals put out by alien skulls, so they are hired as bone readers for the ship Monetta's Mourn. A good reader can not only pick up what is being sent to their ship but also eavesdrop on other ships' messages. Captains like Rackamore of the Monetta use that hijacked information to help them plan heists on the treasures locked away around the galaxy. But when their ship tangles with Bosa Sennan, the notorious pirate, Adrana and Arafura are separated and Fura vows revenge. VERDICT Reynolds (Slow Bullets) has sketched in a galaxy littered with the relics of former civilizations (human and alien), with plenty left to the reader's imagination, and room for a sequel. The space slang (air is "lungstuff") sometimes seems hokey, but the author marries pirate adventures with a coming-of-age story in a way that should give it great crossover appeal for teens.—MM

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Meet the Author

Alastair Reynolds was born in Barry, South Wales, in 1966. He studied at Newcastle and St. Andrews Universities and has a Ph.D. in astronomy. he stopped working as an astrophysicist for the European Space Agency to become a full-time writer. Revelation Space and Pushing Ice were shortlisted for the Arthur C. Clarke Award; Revelation Space, Absolution Gap, Diamond Dogs, and Century Rain were shortlisted for the British Science Fiction Award, and Chasm City won the British Science Fiction Award.

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Revenger 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous 3 months ago
Good book.
Yzabel 9 months ago
[NOTE: I received a copy of this novel through NetGalley.] I've never read anything by this author before, so I can't compare with his other works. In general, although "Revenger" is not without faults, it was an entertaining novel. "Revenger" takes place in a decrepit, dark solar system. In this world where spaceships run both on ion engines and thanks to sails gathering solar radiation from the "Old Sun", crews live and die for their constant scavenging of "baubles", closed gems inherited from various alien occupations, that only open from time to time... and are rumoured to contain all kinds of treasures. There's no massive colonisation of other planets here, only little artificial worlds, scattered here and there, some in the shape of tubes, others using rotation to generate their gravity. This is a world of smuggling and piracy, of young women signing up with crews to leave their smothering father, and of rakish captains and resourceful sailors—all united by their love of money (qoins) and their fear of the legendary Bosa Sennen. There were great moments in this story—from gritty and gorey close-combat scenes to tense moments between characters, from the cold, constricted yet fascinating baubles to the ominous presence of the Nightjammer when it was looming close—and hints of a world building that goes much deeper, thanks to the various bits the author gives here and there about the various Occupations. I wish the author had had room to develop this some more, especially when it came to the baubles and why they were left here: weaponry warehouses? Traps? Something else? Part of a much more complicated system? A lot of the characters in this novel are not particularly nice at first sight. Adrana and Fura dream of adventure, and enlist on a ship to earn money for their father who lost a lot in bad investments (on top of having heart problems), but most of their drive still comes from a selfish desire (selfish because they don't think of all the hurt they'll cause) to escape a pampered rich girl's fate. Probably they're meant to marry to bring money in, though, and, in Fura's case, there's the matter of her father, as doting as he is, considering having a creepy doctor inject her with drugs so that her body will remain that of a child for more years to come. While the crew of the Monetta seems to be decent people, other are clearly cowardish, like captains trailing other ships to let them do most of the work in a bauble before entering it themselves, or, worse, jump them to steal their loot and kill them (Bosa is in the latter category). Vidin, from the beginning, was a thug who demolished a robot instead of just "preventing it from entering the shop". And Fura herself isn't blameless, becoming harder (understandable considering the hardships she's been through) in a way that also makes her really callous at times (I'm thinking of the morning of her escape, more specifically). [Full review here: ylogs.com/archives/review-revenger ]