Author: Alastiar Reynolds
Original language: English
Publisher: Ace Book, New York, 2003
Now, this is what I call space opera: huge ships exchanging any number of ravening beams of destruction, implacable alien menaces, doomsday weapons, plucky heroines and heroes fighting desperate odds.
Oh, yeah, this is the big time!
All of the familiar elements of Reynolds’ fiction are here, from the miraculous but corrupted and decaying technology to the once-glittering but now rather rusty civilizations and the damaged individuals hoping for some sort of redemption. Not to mention the various clades of humanity still managing to survive, despite themselves.
The Conjoiners, arguably the best (and certainly the most technologically advanced) aspect of humanity, are now split over what to do about the Inhibitor menace. Having secured their own existence by easily defeating the other main human faction in a pointless war, they’re now making contingency plans to secure an even longer term future. But the old warrior Clavain (whom some may remember from an earlier Reynolds story, ‘Great Wall of Mars’, in
Meanwhile, on the planet Resurgam — Reynolds books always have more than one seemingly-distinct thread in them — where conclusive proof of the existence of the Inhibitors was first discovered (in
Similarly, the reasoning behind the Inhibitor mission — rather oddly, given that every character who encounters them speaks of their Lovecraftian evil — is shown to be morally rather more complex than, say, E.E. ‘Doc’ Smith would have allowed with his fearsome villains.
As with all of Reynolds’ books, this is a long one. However, it doesn’t ever drag or feel padded out; rather it is exactly the right length. The ending leaves you sated but ready for the next installment. The end of Redemption Ark is only the end of the first skirmish in the war against the Inhibitors. I have the feeling that the best is very much yet to come…