Revenger – Alastair Reynolds

Revenger - Alastair Reynolds

The galaxy has seen great empires rise and fall. Planets have shattered and been remade. Amongst the ruins of alien civilisations, 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 with 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.

Revenger is a science fiction adventure story set in the rubble of our solar system in the dark, distant future – a tale of space pirates, buried treasure and phantom weapons, of unspeakable hazards and single-minded heroism… and of vengeance…

If I had to sum up Revenger, I’d have to go with something like ‘Firefly meets Iain M. Banks’. I think that’s a fair assessment, and if you’re a fan of either, I think you’ll enjoy this book.

Those are easy comparisons though – the swashbuckling pirate adventure of a small ship and crew against a starry backdrop with enough hard SF to appease the most ardent fan. There are hijinks galore, treasure chests hidden in far-flung nooks, daring adventures and more than a touch of the high seas.

Fura Ness makes for a fine and fiery protagonist with a lovely depth to her story, the world-building is absolutely first rate and some of the most fascinating I’ve read in a long time, and the supporting cast of characters is splendid.

There’s a real YA feel to the story, given the age of Fura and her sister, though some of the coming of age angst and rebelling against tyrannical father-knows-best was perhaps the weakest part of the book for me.

Revenger is splendid fun. Easily one of the best sci-fi novels I’ve read for a long time, and I really hope we get to meet Fura Ness again.

Many thanks to Gollancz and Netgalley for the advance copy for review. Opinions, as always, my own

Author: dave

Book reviewer, occasional writer, photographer, coffee-lover, cyclist, spoon carver and stationery geek.

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