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Monday, February 15, 2021

Review: Bone Silence

 Bone Silence is the final book in Alastair Reynolds' Revenger Trilogy, which is a series about pirates in space. I checked it out from the library in Audio book format, where it was performed by Clare Corbett, who is an astonishingly able reader, with separate, distinguishable voices for every character, and an English accent that fully brings out what a pirate story in the age of sail is.

The story itself is not so good: the first half of the novel is much padded, with the setup and the introduction of the main villain done slowly. By the time the book gets us to the destination world, we have the Ness sisters having captured another ship, one in deep trouble against the primary villain, and the other furiously trying to unravel the stories of the alien races in the universe they're in.

Everything falls apart, however, at the reveal, where we do learn what the quoins (pronounced "coins") are, but the nature of the world, the occupations, the baubles and black-hole technology are all left open, as though there's a sequel coming and Reynolds is trying to portion out his good ideas and save them  for a later book. I found myself zoning out, which is not a good sign.

As a translation of "pirates in space", you could do a lot worse, but for a Alastair Reynolds novel, you could do a lot better. Rereading any one of his Revelation Space novels or House of Suns would be a better use of your time than the Revenger series.

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