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Monday, June 12, 2017

Reread: House of Suns

I don't normally re-read novels, but my recent read of Beyond the Aquila Rift's Thousandth Night made me go back and start reading House of Suns again, and the book absolutely sucked me in. Not only had the 9 years between reads eroded my memory of the book so that it was completely fresh to me again, but I discovered new things upon re-reading the book, which is a true test of how good a book is.

For instance, I realized that the novel postulates answers to the question, "What is Dark Matter and why can't I see it?" And the ending, far from being unsatisfying, was actually quite good from my point of view. I certainly no longer feel like Reynolds wrote himself into a corner.

The secondary story, which tells the story of Abigail Gentian is less compelling as I don't think it gave us a good grip on what motivates the primary characters in the novel. Nevertheless, it references the Winchester Mystery House in an indirect fashion.

What I love about the book is how subtle all the references and postulations are. At no point does Reynolds point out "Hey, this is my great idea. Pay attention!" He respects the readers' intelligence and expects you to do the heavy lifting. Thinking about the lesser novels I read this year like The Three Body Problem or The Wall of Storms, I think that makes even the worse parts of House of Suns better than the best parts of other novels.

Highly Recommended, and well worth the re-read.

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