*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of KINDLE Ebook Revenger by Alastair Reynolds

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This established writer has produced a strong canon of work over the years such that when I saw this offering on Netgalley, I immediately requested it.

revengerThe 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.

This intriguing coming-of-age story is set in the far future where humanity is making do with the leavings of earlier, greater civilisations. Adrana and Fura Ness are teenagers who have grown up with tales of scavenging ships who made their fortunes for their crews by homing in on likely worlds as they periodically open up for a short time to mine them for their treasures. And they are guided to these secret locations by bone readers, youngsters who have the gift of reading ancient skulls.

When it becomes apparent that both Adrana and Fura have this prized gift, at Adrana’s urging, they both sign up on a ship to try and save their father from financial disgrace. However, the consequences of this action is catastrophic for both girls… This story is told in first person viewpoint from Fura’s point of view and amongst all the mayhem, piracy and double-dealing charts her steady transformation from a rather shy, well brought up young lady to a vengeful, dangerous character that has people crossing the street to avoid her.

There is a wild, swash-buckling quality to this space opera adventure, aided by the fact that the ships use solar sails to aid their progress and the job of salvaging valuables from these hidden worlds is highly dangerous and life on board is hard. I really loved the world-building and the impact on Fura.

This is a world where terrible things happen, where people lose their lives and existence is precarious such that people sell their limbs when they fall upon hard times. It’s a world where a father is entitled to imprison and drug a rebellious daughter until she conforms. It’s a world where soldier robots, promised freedom for loyal and brave service, have their programming subverted so they continue service in menial circumstances unaware of how they have been betrayed. And yet, there are friends to be had – comrades who have shared terrible ordeals.

As for the ending… the story’s conclusion leaves plenty of room for this book to turn into a series – I very much hope it does. This world is completely different from Reynolds’ remote posthumans – the characters leap off the page with a vividness that has lodged in my head. And I would love to revisit this beguiling, bloodthirsty world.

I was provided with an ebook of Revenger by the publisher via Netgalley, in return for an honest review.
9/10

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8 responses »

  1. This sounds like an exciting read! I have heard of this author as my boyfriend own multiple books by him, but I haven’t read any of his books myself. It really sounds like a world were bad things happen, but that probably makes the good things that happen stand out even more. And the characters sound well done. Great review!

    • I’m glad you enjoyed the review:). However, this isn’t like any other Reynolds book I’ve ever read – if you’d asked me, I would never have known this was written by him. It’s my favourite of his so far by a long country mile…

  2. That’s a WOW of a cover, especially with it being black and white. And I like how the two lead characters are both female. You don’t see that often in science fiction – or, well, at least I haven’t. I’ll have to keep an eye out for it.

    • It’s a really good read – the character progression is excellent and the world vivid. I read it a couple of books ago – and the world has stayed in my head. And you’re right – the cover is spot on.

  3. The cover had instantly caught my eye, and the story seems interesting too. Reynold’s name is one of those which keep popping up on my radar, but I’ve never got around to read. I guess I should change that at some point.

    • It’s a huge change from his rather cool, posthumanity stories, but I far prefer this new, more rollicking style of his. It’s a memorable read that I still find myself thinking about…

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