Friday, July 17, 2015

Century Rain by Alastair Reynolds

Title: Century Rain
Author: Alastair Reynolds
Publication Date: 2004
Length: 530 pages

Century Rain starts off with two separate plots, which later come together. Verity Auger is an archaeologist, studying the remains of an Earth destroyed by the nanocaust. She is recruited for a secret mission, which takes her to what appears to be Earth in the 1950s. Meanwhile, in the 1950s, a detective/jazz musician named Floyd is investigating the murder of a seemingly innocent woman, Susan White, whom he suspects to be a spy. When Auger's and Floyd's interests in the case collide, they have to work together to solve the mystery, and maybe save the world.

Part space opera, part post-apocalyptic, part alternate history, part mystery, I must say this novel is unlike anything I've read before. I really enjoyed how the story started off, alternating chapters between Floyd and Auger, not telling you how the two stories were going to intertwine.

Closer to the end, when it got more into space opera territory, it did slow down a bit for me. A bit like a car chase, but in space, and spread out over multiple chapters. The ending was also a little open for my liking, leaving me wanting to know what happens to the characters next, but that's more a matter of personal taste. The main plot points are wrapped up.

Overall, I liked the story and the main characters. The post-apocalyptic elements were neat, with humanity having split into two factions based on acceptance of nanotechnology. While a few things bugged me, they were minor enough that my overall impression of the book is still positive, and I'd read other books by this author in the future.

4 stars.

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