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Century Rain by Alastair Reynolds
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Century Rain

by Alastair Reynolds

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,404295,398 (3.71)62
  1. 20
    Farthing by Jo Walton (aulsmith)
    aulsmith: If you liked the parts of this novel set in the alternate Paris, try Walton's set in a similar alternate London
  2. 00
    Spin by Robert Charles Wilson (Anonymous user)
  3. 00
    The Prefect by Alastair Reynolds (Anonymous user)
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English (28)  French (1)  All languages (29)
Showing 1-5 of 28 (next | show all)
Please read the full review on Weighing A Pig Doesn't Fatten It...

Not Reynolds’ best at all, but not a disappointment like both Pushing Ice and Terminal World.

Basically an original take on time travel that isn’t time travel, and some other likable SF ideas, coupled with a detective story. Fast moving and interesting enough to keep oneself entertained, albeit predictable. Near the final 200 pages (of 600), it becomes a bit too much though, with lots of action that drags at times, and basically always is resolved by yet another deus-ex-machina.

(...) ( )
  bormgans | Dec 15, 2015 |
I got about 20% through this. It wasn't horrible, but when I found myself looking around for more housework to do instead of concentrate on the book, I knew it was time to put it down and choose the next book off my TBR mountain. Sorry. Not sure exactly sure why I didn't like it, except that it seems too much like a long-winded mystery/thriller, and I prefer stories that get to the point and I don't like mystery/thrillers.
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Apr 14, 2015 |
★★★-3/4 rounded up to 4 stars.

Almost a solid 4-star read for me. The concept and world-building are just so damn cool. If it weren't for a few eye-rolling moments having to do with character motivation... For instance, the lovey-dovey stuff after the sphere falls on Floyd in the German factory scene just seemed suddenly grafted on. Not to mention that he is described as BLEEDING COPIOUSLY FROM HIS HEAD! Instead of getting all kissy-face with him, perhaps Auger should have done something else? Like, maybe try to STAUNCH THE BLEEDING?!? I'm not sure what Reynolds was thinking there. I don't have a problem with them falling in love, that seemed a likely eventuality from long before they actually met. It was the circumstance where they first expressed their affections that rang a dissonant note. Ah well... thankfully, most of the book is filled with better-written scenery and is therefore pretty darn brilliant.

Conceptually, the stuff Reynolds has dreamed up is rather mind-boggling:
- Archaeological digging in the midst of nanobot 'Furies'? Check!
- A noir detective murder whodunit mystery? Check!
- Wormholes leading to ALS's (Anomalous Large Structures) - a galactic subway system! - all left behind by technologically advanced but unknown creators? Check!
- Political intrigues between factions of humans still alive after the nanocaust? Check! (hrmm... who to trust? who to trust?)
- Off-Earth habitats in the year 2266 interacting with Earth in 1959? Check! (nope, not by time-traveling - this whole part is just beautifully imagined.)
- War-babies? Check! (oh man, were they ever a nice creepy touch!)
- A super-duper secret planet-killing weapon mystery that needs to be solved before the world goes nano-boom? Check!
- A Hollywoodish carspaceship-chase in wormhole space? Check!

All in all, I really liked this book. It was a great first Reynolds for me. I just wish some of the romantic aspects had been handled with a skosh more elegance. ( )
1 vote ScoLgo | Oct 3, 2014 |
I loved this story, and was sad to find it was a standalone as upon finishing I immediately looked for the sequel. However, it is a complete story in itself. The book starts off as sci-fi thriller set 200 years in the future, where an Apocalypse has rendered earth a lifeless husk, and we are following the story of an archaeologist studying the wastelands of Paris. The story then switches to Paris of the 1950s, but not a 1950s we recognize, some things that should have happened by 1959 haven't.

The stories intertwine, and we are treated to a thriller where the main protagonist, aforementioned archaeologist, Verity Auger, has to complete a mission on this 1950s world as she has the knowledge of Paris at this time. She is a kick-ass character and Reynolds treats her to several near death experiences which left me on a rollercoaster ride of emotion, wondering if she, and the other characters I had come to care about with little, but careful, character development, were going to make it. Recommended.

Audio-book version:
I listened to the auido-book narrated by the British John Lee. He did an excellent job with the many female voices, and his narration was very even and I now associate Alastair Reynolds with John Lee's narration. ( )
1 vote wifilibrarian | Feb 3, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 28 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Alastair Reynoldsprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Carr, RichardCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fiore, AnnetteCover Designsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Haas, DominiqueTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kempen, BernhardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lee, JohnNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moore, ChrisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zahirovic, SandaCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The river flowing sluggishly under Pont de la Concorde was flat and grey, like worn-out linoleum.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0441013074, Mass Market Paperback)

Three hundred years from now, Earth has been rendered uninhabitable due to the technological catastrophe known as the Nanocaust.

Archaeologist Verity Auger specializes in the exploration of its surviving landscape. Now, her expertise is required for a far greater purpose.

Something astonishing has been discovered at the far end of a wormhole: mid-twentieth century Earth, preserved like a fly in amber. Somewhere on this alternate planet is a device capable of destroying both worlds at either end of the wormhole. And Verity must find the device, and the man who plans to activate it, before it is too late—for the past and the future of two worlds…

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:02:28 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

"Three hundred years from now, Earth has been rendered uninhabitable due to the technological catastrophe known as the Nanocaust. Archaeologist Verity Auger specializes in the exploration of its surviving landscape. Now, her expertise is required for a far greater purpose. Something astonishing has been discovered at the far end of a wormhole: mid-twentieth century Earth, preserved like a fly in amber. Somewhere on this alternate planet is a device capable of destroying both worlds at either end of the wormhole. And Verity must find the device, and the man who plans to activate it, before it is too late - for the past and the future of two worlds" -- Cover verso.… (more)

» see all 5 descriptions

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