Chasm City

Posted by : atcampbell | On : October 5, 2004

Chasm City by Alastair Reynolds

We moved this extremely long, complex space opera up in the queue 2 weeks early so only 5 people of the 7 who showed up at the meeting had read any of it. No one had finished. Four people had read Reynolds previously.

This book is set in the same universe as Reynolds’s first book, Revelation Space, which we read earlier. Although Chasm City covers some backstory about the universe, the book can be read as a stand-alone novel. In it a bodyguard, Tanner Mirabel, searches for the murderer of his boss. Along the way he becomes infected by a religious cult’s virus and ends up in Chasm City, where he becomes caught up in the game of nano-plague mutants while at the same time wondering who he really is.

Most of us thought the book should have been broken up into separate volumes and that it probably did not need the level of detail and complexity it has. With such a long book, the author needs to give the reader a major payoff at the end. The reader who read the farthest said that the book did get more interesting later on, but most of the rest of us did not think we would finish.

–Sandy Kayser