Revelation Space - Alastair Reynolds

**** Enjoyable but gloomy space opera

This is a complex novel and I liked certain aspects of it. One of these is the fact that, despite the main characters are not few, the author still managed to deepen them. It’s easy to create a bond with one of them that allows you to immerse yourself in the story. In my case the character with which I was able to immediately establish a bond was Dan Sylveste, perhaps because it is one of the first to make its appearance in the novel.
The world building is very good, too. Reynolds shows to possess an enormous imagination when creating planets, societies, and unimaginable aliens, like the Pattern Jugglers that, in fact, are living oceans. While creating from nothing a complex universe with very few references to our reality, the author still managed to make it believable. You don’t feel a sense of detachment that could be typical in this kind of stories. In this sense it is of considerable help the beautiful, engaging, and poetic prose.
Finally, the story ends with an open ending better than that of another book I read (Century Rain), as the main characters have a growth that is realized thanks to the ending.
But there are aspects that have prevented me from giving full marks to this book.
While reading, it soon becomes clear that it presupposes certain knowledge by the reader of some aspects of the story, the names, and the characters themselves. At the beginning of the book there is a written glossary for this purpose, but you cannot really think that someone gets to read it, and then maybe they remember it, before they start reading the novel. Thus one has the constant impression of reading the second book in a series, in other words, that a part of the story is missing. Further explanations within the novel would be useful, where they were required to help the reader's understanding.
The same open ending that I mentioned before, even if in itself it is a well-crafted resolution of the events, however, causes me a sense of dissatisfaction that I cannot decipher, perhaps because I didn’t like the role of Sylveste, because he undergoes the events, without being able to do anything to alter them.
In addition, there is pessimistic view of the future, both in the images and tones, which does not fit at all in my comfort zone.


Revelation Space on Amazon.