… perfect escapism …
An entertaining adventure about the sisters, Adrana and Arafura, who escape a genteel bankruptcy by signing up on Captain Rackamore’s sunjammer, travelling through space scavenging ancient technology from highly protected planets.
The girls are both “bone readers,” who can pick up traces of spacecraft communication using skulls from an ancient civilisation and so are valuable members of his hard-bitten crew. Experienced writer, Alastair Reynolds has developed a beautifully constructed universe with plenty of room for sequels and introduced a likable protagonist in Fura as she grows up fast amidst treachery and bravery, robots and alien artefacts. He uses a fair bit of Victorian slang to suggest a pirate/sea dog atmosphere which I found slightly irritating but the story romps along to a satisfying climax. A perfect escapist read.
Alastair Reynolds is the award-winning author and astrophysicist best known for his Revelation Space and his Poseidon’s Children series.
Cover design moment: The UK cover is a stylish update on the standard and old fashioned hard boiled SciFi design with a stand-out spine in contrasting red. The designer has not been credited in the ARC and I couldn’t find any reference to them – even in the Cover Reveal GollanczBlog post … UPDATE : Thanks to a heads up from Carole Heidi the design company is the brilliant Black Sheep. Their website is here.
Revenger will be published by Gollancz on 15 September 2016. I read a copy lent to me by Emily at A Festival of Books. Thanks, Em!