Book Review:

Terminal World by Alastair Reynolds

I read this book on the recommendation of a friend who loaned me his paperback copy. The story is presented with a very steam-punk, sci-fi infused, space opera feel. I was initially wondering if I would like this book as it seemed to have some initial head-hopping and confusing scenes in chapter one, but the further I read, the more interesting the characters and their journey became to me.

The adventure starts with a dramatic escape from a strange city filled with danger and quickly turns into an adventure of discovery and purpose. After running from the initial treats, the main characters will eventually change their perspective and purposely return to resolve the larger mysteries and problems that are slowly revealed in the story.

I’m not very familiar with steampunk genre stories other than maybe the “Firefly/Serenity” TV series (which this in some ways has the same fun feel as this tale – although this has less of a directly campy “western” setting). Because of my unfamiliarity with the genre, some of the names of various groups, places, and terms used felt a bit “silly” to me at first, but the more I got into the book the more they did fit the steampunk feel of the tale and soon I accepted the world that Alastair Reynolds was presenting in this novel.

The climax and conclusion was also very interesting. It wraps up the issues of the plot, yet almost leaves it open for a future sequel, but I don’t think there is a sequel to this book. (as far as I know it’s a stand-alone novel) But the ending has a good conclusion which I felt wrapped things up as much as needed and left the possibilities of the future open to the reader’s perspective.

All in all, a very imaginative and fun read that I might not have chosen on my own. I’m glad my friend recommended it to me.