Revelation Space

by Alistair Reynolds

Rating: ★★★

Competent if unremarkable science-fiction. The characters mostly fail to impress, and the plot seemed somewhat unsure of itself. We got lots of build-up for things that didn't really go anywhere (like Sylveste and Calvin's entire arc) and a strange staccato of narrative-voice reveals and twists at the end that seemed to undermine the story's central mystery. The neutron star was from a narrative point of view entirely unnecessary, and added a deus ex machina salvation for some of the characters -- which I could appreciate a lot more if I'd grown to care about any of them.

Reynolds knows his science, though, and elements of his worldbuilding were beguiling. I can't hate a novel about Fermi's Paradox which also includes gigantic near-lightspeed ships and pointed discussion about relativistic time.