From the leader of a Norse raiding party in 7th-century England to a young symbiotically bonded Pilot-and-Ship in the far future. From a female German scientist during the Second World War to a member of an alien race who communicates by smell. From the past to the future, war is coming. And only a few can see the darkness.Hidden at the centre of the Universe, the darknessFrom the leader of a Norse raiding party in 7th-century England to a young symbiotically bonded Pilot-and-Ship in the far future. From a female German scientist during the Second World War to a member of an alien race who communicates by smell. From the past to the future, war is coming. And only a few can see the darkness.Hidden at the centre of the Universe, the darkness spreads its tendrils throughout space and time. Those it touches become puppets, dedicated to slowing down the improvement of the human race and preventing it from reaching its true potential. For the darkness knows that when it makes its final invasion of our space, humanity will stand against it.And in the far far future, knowing that they are the last hope for the galaxy, the Ragnarok council is forming......
|Format Type||:||Kindle Edition|
|Number of Pages||:||464 Pages|
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This is the final part of a trilogy, following Absorption and Transmission.If you have read them, you'll pretty much know what to expect.If you haven't, this is an ambitious trilogy, spanning the time period between the 8th century and the 6000th, describing the infiltration of our Galaxy by a darkness and the efforts of humanity, and various alien species, to resist it. There are are many, many characters, often related to each other - sometimes the links are clear, sometimes only hinted at - and themes, such as Norse mythology and the concept of Ragnarrok that runs throughout. It is well written, incredibly diverse, and generally compulsive reading. I'd urge you to go and read the first two books now, and in fact to read the three books one after another because the downside of all that detail is that there's a lot to forget if you leave too long between them. DON'T read any more of this review because it may become slightly spoilery for the first two books.If you are still with me, as I said above, this book is very similar in format to the others - separate sections narrating the stories of Roger Blackstone, the you Pilot, of Ulfr, the 8th century Viking warrior, of Gavriella, Lucas, her grandson, and so on. We also hear more of the World, whose story finally (but only just!) links up with the main narrative, of how the Schenk family came to embrace the darkness, of the origins of the Pilots, the Ragnarok Council and the nature of Kenna. And much more - a number of new characters crop up, nicely bridging the lengthy periods that separate the different viewpoints. Meaney also takes the story into new places, such as Le Carré-esque scenes set in postwar Berlin or a tender friendship between Gavriella and her old colleague Rupert. So while the book is similar to the others, it is extending its scope, right to the end.Which is perhaps a slight problem. Meaney's scope was already cast, in space (both mu and real), time (those 600,000 years!) and theme. Inevitably, therefore, many of the strands can only be briefly addressed before he has to hurry on to the next, and while they are all resolved, I did feel the pace was somewhat rushed. We didn't, for example, get as much detail or identification with any of the characters or situations as we do with Roger in "Absorption". In many places, there are three or four page chapters here that could have been whole books in themselves. Crucially, that includes some key actors or themes - such as the darkness itself. Yes, it's a threat, yes, identified somehow with dark matter (as the blurb makes clear) - but what is it trying to achieve, and why?The positive way to put that might be to say that the book makes demands of its reader, to understand an join up the themes over the millennia, to spot the clues, to see the pattern.It's perhaps a delicate balance and for me, didn't quite come off - but it may for others.That shouldn't be taken as criticism: as I said above, this is a very ambitious trilogy. It is so ambitious that one can hardly complain if it doesn't quite get there - it is still impressive in what it does achieve.
Read each of these as they were published; we'll over 2 years since the first one. I remember there being more character development and less rushing past events in the previous books.I think I missed a lot and would have got more out of this if I had waited for them all to be out and read it as one long novel (which it really is).
I thoroughly enjoyed the first two volumes of this trilogy so was eagerly awaiting the opportunity to read this, the final instalment. I was, however, destined to be sorely disappointed.Gone is the break-neck pace, elegant prose and satisfyingly smooth narrative flow of the previous volumes to be replaced with grammatically convoluted, overlong sentences (see quote below from page 240 by way of a sadly typical example), pace killing narrative threads which take umpteen chapters to actually progress the plot and a confusing morass of shallow characters and locations. “He was in the centre of the lab chamber, surrounded by a plethora of holovolumes: sheaves of number; intricate, shifting phase spaces rendered in a thousand hues where every nuance of colour held meaning; and many dimensioned emergenic maps, which tracked the generation of properties emergent from complex substrates, always checking and attempting to predict the emergence of order from chaos.”Perhaps more generous readers might consider such gibberish challenging (they’d probably really enjoy Rajaniemi’s Quantum Thief), but I just found page after page of this waffle annoying padding. Despite being only a few pages longer than ‘Transmission’ it took me over twice the time to read this volume. It could be me, but I completely failed to get drawn in and ended up skip-reading the last 100 or so pages just to get to the not unexpectedly confusing and rushed finale. It seems to me a typical example of ambition overreaching ability but I don’t understand what went wrong; the first two instalments were excellent and I really enjoyed Meaney’s Tristopolis novels. Shame; a disappointing end to a potentially superb trilogy.
I've really enjoyed this series of books, the central hook of having different characters each with their own stories spread throughout time has been interesting. The characters of course are bound to each other by a darker plot that spans time itself that has been explored in prior volumes, but in this volume it's time to wrap up the individual stories as well as the major one. For the most part the book does a good job, plot points are wrapped up and some of the strange mysteries from previous books are explained but towards the end the book feels a bit rushed, like a tv show that suddenly finds itself scrambling to conclude a story when they get cancelled. It did feel like there were more stories to tell here with some of the characters; by the end a few characters we know relatively little about seems to be in a position where another book covering their stories wouldn't go amiss.
Very impressed that Meaney was able to pull this off, which is in effect a retelling of Ragnarok in a Sci Fi setting but also so much more than that. It's as ambitious as Sci Fi gets and was very satisfying to see a transcendent conclusion to the series. On a side note, I loved how it gave greater depth and meaning to the events of 'Resolution' - one of John Meaney's previous novels in his 'Nulaperion sequence' (easily his weakest novel in that trilogy) - and made me reevaluate the novel and like it a whole lot more. I have no idea whether it was all planned this way or if it was retconned to achieve this. Either way, it felt totally natural and I'm impressed how it all came together.
This is hard, chewy SF that makes you think (and feel at times a little stupid because the concepts that Mr Meaney bats about so casually). The three books of the trilogy probably merit an immediate end-to-end re-read as the multi-strand narrative does slow down the conjoined effect of the plot until well into this book, but in concluding it all hangs together very well indeed and conjures images that manage to boggle the mind.Meaney doesn't get the recognition he deserves, I think. He's a good writer with some amazing ideas and a scary smart brain. I look forward to whatever SF magic he conjures up next.
Very smart, decently hard sf, all cutting-edge-physics-that-will-be-wrong-again-this-time-next-week-but-who-cares-'cos-it's-awesome. Like Warren Ellis in full on transhuman mode, only in prose.The intricacy of the plotting has to be seen to be believed - it's honestly hard to conceive of such complexity being possible to track in only three dimensions, and while the Norse symbolism does come on a little heavy at the end, it does so in a pretty satisfying way. Best of all, it leaves room for a sequel.I'm looking forward to reading the same author's Nulapeiron sequence, which it appears takes place in the same universe.
so disappointing, all meaningless explanations, no substance at all. and the silly time paradoxes: one species sees the future, where a second species does something bad, therefore avoid the future by stopping species #2, but then you didn't see the future at all, and so on and so forth. i've had horrible bad luck lately with book#3 of trilogies. #3 seems to be the money, not the story.
Came today. Just got to finish my 'nova wars' re-read then get back into the story. Re-reading the first two books recently was a revelation in finding more in them. Can't wait now.
Hardcore sci-fi...mindblowing plot...have to re-read this in a while... :)