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Shadow Captain (The Revenger Series (2)) by…
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Shadow Captain (The Revenger Series (2)) (edition 2019)

by Alastair Reynolds (Author)

Series: Revenger (2)

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1488135,476 (3.61)13
The gripping sequel to the Locus award winning science fiction adventure, Revenger, tells a story of obsession and betrayal as two sisters hunt for the greatest treasure in the universe. Adrana and Fura Ness have finally been reunited, but both have changed beyond recognition. Once desperate for adventure, now Adrana is haunted by her enslavement on the feared pirate Bosa Sennen's ship. And rumors of Bosa Sennen's hidden cache of treasure have ensnared her sister, Fura, into single-minded obsession. Neither is safe; because the galaxy wants Bosa Sennen dead and they don't care if she's already been killed. They'll happily take whoever is flying her ship. Shadow Captain is a desperate story of cursed ships, vengeful corporations, and alien artifacts, of daring escapes and wealth beyond imagining ... and of betrayal. For more from Alastair Reynolds, check out: Revenger Elysium Fire… (more)
Member:daxxh
Title:Shadow Captain (The Revenger Series (2))
Authors:Alastair Reynolds (Author)
Info:Orbit (2019), Edition: First Edition first Printing, 448 pages
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Shadow Captain by Alastair Reynolds

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» See also 13 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
Reynolds makes the interesting choice to switch view points from Arufura Ness to her sister in this sequel to Revenger, the story of space pirates, space tomb raiders and historical mysteries. It's quintessential Reynolds in many ways - grim characters, deep mysteries, slow start. It's also a better sequel than any I can remember from this author - hopefully Reynolds can stick the landing with the obviously necessary third volume and give a satisfying conclusion. ( )
  Arbieroo | Jul 17, 2020 |
The second Revenger book continues on with a pretty traditional Space Opera tale.

Where the first began with revenge on the mind, the second focuses much more on financial survival, salvage, and after a particularly awesome Reynolds-homage-to-Reynolds sentient skull candy partnership with suits becoming a shambling hoard of zombies, a desperate need to find SOMEPLACE to hide from shadow ships and recuperate.

That's where the real story picks up. Intrigue, lies, torture, cat-and-mouse antics, and even picking up a rather interesting new crew member.

As a regular Space Opera, it's fun. It's more than competent. It's full of bickering sisters and an attempt to turn a mutiny into something much more respectable. :)


So why did I knock off a star?

Because I'm a huge fan of Reynold's more adult fare and this isn't at THAT particular level. The high science and deeply intricate worldbuilding and ideas I usually get are watered down here. That's not to say it's poor for the sub-genre or even the full SF genre. It's right there with the most solid entries. But Reynolds is usually a full head above the rest.

I judge this a lesser example of his works. Not bad at all and actually rather fun, but not fantastic. ( )
  bradleyhorner | Jun 1, 2020 |
very fun read!

As a sequel it went somewhere I did not expect, and opened up the window to the interesting world of the congregation a little bit more. ( )
  lostmonster | May 19, 2020 |
Definitely a mid-series book, in that the plot never quite feels urgent, as more setting up happens. However it's also lost the YA feel from the first one, which I didn't re-read, and was perhaps a mistake as there's little explanation of the universe, and it took a while for me to remember the details.

The Ness sisters and their small crew are just getting to grips with their new sun-jammer after deposing the former owner at some cost to themselves and their personalities. They descide they need more supplies and so choose the non-piratical option, despite their ship's reputation, and attempt to dock at an outer world to trade, they are after all somewhat rich with their enemy's spoils and can afford less good deals. However not everything goes according to plan, for a start the world is more desolate than they'd hoped, and then they find that it's been in somewhat of a coup since the last records and the current rules is more despot than lawful trader. But as one of their crew is injured in an accident before they arrive they have little other option, and choose to disguise themselves as best they can rather than explain their ownership of one of the most notorious ships in known space.

There's an initial foray to a bauble, which seems to have no purpose. I'm not sure why the initial quarter of the book is taken up with what's basically a non-event. The rest of their time at the whizzy-wheel world is a lot darker than would be usual for a YA science fiction, which is how the series started. It's not quite chasm city, but the setting isn't that far off, it's just the most of the violence occurs off-screen and these charcaters are somewhat remorseful about it and try to minimize any harms they do. It's fun and once you're past the initial Bauble, the plot moves along quickly enough that you don't really realise just how simplistic some of the characters are, and how they agree to suggestions far too readily. In some books this would be a naive charm, but it doesn't work in a dark(ish) SF setting.

The hard-sf theme remains with careful consideration of how light-sail work and their intrinsic advantages and problems, especially when compared with other propulsion systems. I'm less convinced by the Ghostie and volition weapons, and Reynolds doens't get a free pass by just waving them off as 'alien'.

Worth reading, and a good introduction to his writing, but perhaps not his best. I will be reading the rest of the series, as there's obviously a greater plan than just the adventures of the Ness sisters, and I'm very curious to find out what's behind the rest of the world-building. ( )
  reading_fox | Jan 23, 2020 |
I find it strange that the debate whether YA is any good is so often cast in either/or terms. I read all kinds of things - newspapers, YA, folk tales of all kinds, romance, crime, SF, fantasy, nature writing, history, biography, serious contemporary fiction, classics, books for beginner readers. Oh, the emotional pull of Dogger...My enjoyment of YA etc does not make me incapable of reading, appreciating and criticising serious literature. I also question what seems to be a general idea that reading, say, Alastair Reynolds is fine and dandy and nothing wrong with that sort of escapism, while reading YA or romance is silly and OMG the death of intelligence and all that is good and beautiful in the world. Take that into films - an action film is no more adult than “Divergent” or “The Hunger Games”, except maybe there's more fuck, in both sense of the word. There's a gender division inherent in this that could do with more exploration.

it seems to be demonstrably untrue that “The Fault In Our Stars” is a more serious novel than Sabbath's Theatre, American Pastoral, or Atomised, which are novels about middle aged men struggling with sex, death and failure. They are serious about "urgent issues", if we mean social issues by that. Being serious is a curb on popularity: if it wasn't, John Rawls would outsell “The Hunger Games”, wouldn't he? But the real issue with the leap of logic that this piece makes actually occurs within genres. The Divergent trilogy, which is a terrible piece of trash, has never been nominated for a Hugo or a Nebula, yet outsells the books that do. Am I, as someone with a passing interest in science fiction, to understand that Divergent is more serious in every way that matters than the novels that do? What is it about the current malaise in literature (literary circles, now) that makes it so disengaged from the reality, while simplistic evil/good YA novels do a better job of answering them (note, not a good job, simply a better one).

Also, about adult reality: perhaps we should look elsewhere for our good pieces?

Forget canon, labels and themes thrown at kids ex cathedra. Read with them, look at the language, techniques, syntax, metaphor, nuance etc, and they will soon enough work out the themes themselves. There are no themes without the language that both contains and express them. Invest teaching time in deep reading and the rest of the wretched business will fall into place. Including the almighty prescribed themes.

Is Reynolds writing Dark SF disguised as YA SF? I think young adults need to encounter a variety of portrayals of hardship as it broadens their own base of experience. It is essential...Teenagers are the perfect age for dark fiction. Their questing minds, whether socially, academically or personally are a natural fit for discovering the worst of human nature. They do it themselves anyway, without prompting. Teenagers are primed to dissect the world around them in their search for self, for identity, and yes, shockingly, knowledge. Totally agree with the author of this piece. Using dark fiction, whether highbrow or not (depends upon your interpretation) is a perfect springboard for discussion of serious ideas with teens. And if they have a reading bent at all they'll devour it. Teenagers are often far more intelligent, perceptive and receptive than many adults credit them.

When I was a teenager I found nothing more offensive than teachers thinking I couldn't handle something. So did I magically understand something once I turn 18? When I was in 7th grade I was reading "Lolita" in English class and my teacher told me that I should be reading something more age appropriate. She also used the word perverse to describe the book. Well I'm sorry but the point of "Lolita" is to examine the thoughts and feelings of someone who is, yes perverse but also complex and unreliable. Books are supposed to be thought provoking and make you feel different things and that's exactly what dark fiction does.

A lot of YA SF is indeed one-note single-issue off-the-shelf dystopias of the kind we seem to think 'speak' to people, but in sales and market share an awful lot are precisely the steampunk you we were slagging off last time around. Doesn't that speak to its readers too? Look at any list of bestsellers for 1914, 1894, 1924... how many are remembered, or read now? Just because something sold well doesn't give in intrinsic merit. (Neither does it preclude it from having anything beyond a good publicity campaign).

The phenomenon of half-finished bestsellers gathering dust on shelves didn't start with Stephen Hawking. I'm better off reading outstanding YA Dark SF the way Reynolds is doing. I'm sick and tired of the industry (not just in-genre) having plenty of pigeon-holed writers, creating the same thing again and again, trapped in the literary equivalent of a market segment. Writing is art of creation but they're worrying about breaking a publishing formula. They're in a cul-de-sac. Not so with Reynolds. Once again, after "Revenger" which I also liked a lot, "Shadow Captain" was able to capture the sense of wonderment I remember having as a teenager reading this kind of stuff. I also like some of his hard stuff ("Pushing Ice", etc.), but ‘Revenger’, and "Shadow Captain" in contrast, although lighter and more digestible, are still very solid YA SF. It’s testament to Reynolds’ writing chops for varying his style whilst holding down a solid narrative and portraying interesting and engaging characters like the Ness Sisters.

NB: To fully enjoy this novel you've got to put on your YA hat, otherwise it won't work. ( )
  antao | Apr 8, 2019 |
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The gripping sequel to the Locus award winning science fiction adventure, Revenger, tells a story of obsession and betrayal as two sisters hunt for the greatest treasure in the universe. Adrana and Fura Ness have finally been reunited, but both have changed beyond recognition. Once desperate for adventure, now Adrana is haunted by her enslavement on the feared pirate Bosa Sennen's ship. And rumors of Bosa Sennen's hidden cache of treasure have ensnared her sister, Fura, into single-minded obsession. Neither is safe; because the galaxy wants Bosa Sennen dead and they don't care if she's already been killed. They'll happily take whoever is flying her ship. Shadow Captain is a desperate story of cursed ships, vengeful corporations, and alien artifacts, of daring escapes and wealth beyond imagining ... and of betrayal. For more from Alastair Reynolds, check out: Revenger Elysium Fire

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The gripping sequel to the Locus award winning science fiction adventure, Revenger, tells a story of obsession and betrayal as two sisters hunt for the greatest treasure in the universe.

Adrana and Fura Ness have finally been reunited, but both have changed beyond recognition. Once desperate for adventure, now Adrana is haunted by her enslavement on the feared pirate Bosa Sennen's ship. And rumors of Bosa Sennen's hidden cache of treasure have ensnared her sister, Fura, into single-minded obsession.

Neither is safe; because the galaxy wants Bosa Sennen dead and they don't care if she's already been killed. They'll happily take whoever is flying her ship.

Shadow Captain is a desperate story of cursed ships, vengeful corporations, and alien artifacts, of daring escapes and wealth beyond imagining ... and of betrayal.

For more from Alastair Reynolds, check out:

Revenger
Elysium Fire
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