We all have it in us to be something other than what we are, I thought, but we don’t often get a glimpse of what we could have been.
Today’s post in going to be slightly different to the usually posts that I upload and I don’t mean in the sense that it’s not going to be a book review because it is, but the difference is the fact that this book review is on a book genre that I don’t normally read and that is science fiction. I have read in the past a few of H.G. Wells classic science fiction novels however, I haven’t read really any modern science fiction before. The publisher’s Gollancz were kind enough to send me a copy of Revenger by Alastair Reynolds. So, once again I would like to thank Stevie at Gollancz for being kind enough to send me a copy in exchange for an honest and fair review.
Revenger by Alastair Reynolds and was first published in hardback in 2016 and then in paperback in 2017 which is the version that I read. The story centres on (Official Blurb): “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.”
The first thing I want to say is the fact that even though this was my first proper venture into modern science fiction I definitely was not disappointed. The book is a fast-paced story with a great set-up, potentially limitless world-building and great characterisation. Throughout this book the setting is actually less important compared to Alastair’s characters. This book was definitely more of a character development story rather than a story where setting plays the most important role or has the most development. For me, I was completing fine with this. I would much rather have a story where the characters are well development compared to the setting.
One aspect of this book that I really loved was the fact Alastair showed the emotional growth of his characters – one that was done extremely well was the emotional growth of Fura Ness. Throughout the whole of the book you will notice that Alastair has developed a language that goes with the world that he has built brilliantly (some examples of this are as followed: lungstuff is a term used for the atmosphere or air, squint-time means sleep and swallower which means a black hole). I also loved the fact that Revenger by Alastair Reynolds is also a standalone which is perfect for anyone like me who is relatively new to the genre of science fiction. Also if you enjoy science fiction on the lighter side then this book is definitely for you.
Could kindness – by only ever taking little steps – twist itself into the worst kind of cruelty?
Overall, this book was well-written, fast-pacing, great fun and I would highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys this genre or are new to the genre of science fiction. The last thing I’m going to say about this book is ‘space pirates’ – nothing more really needs to be said.
The edition I read was published by Gollancz (2017).
(Image is my own please do not take/copy without permission first).