"I wish it weren't, but we're out of our environment here.
Big dumb object time. Again. I am such a sucker for sense of wonder stories. Someone who commented on my review of Eon was kind enough to bring under my attention the term “Awe-Fi” (thanks Dmitry). And that’s exactly what this is: Awe-Fi.
"Will you look at that," [she] said, apparently to no one in particular.
That said, Reckoning Infinity doesn’t aspire to the same ambitious (mind-obliterating) heights as Eon. It’s more readily comparable to something like Rendezvous with Rama. It also has the added benefit of containing a pretty good story on an intimate level, and doesn’t completely neglect the characters in favour of the big idea. The author keeps the story fairly trimmed of fat; it’s not as massively dense as some other Artifact stories I’ve read.
[His] eyes widened, and he suddenly glanced at the others to see if they saw it, too.
Well, here’s the thing: if you enjoy Science Fiction (and I’m hoping you do), you’d have to be either an extremely jaded reader or possess no imagination to speak of not to enjoy this on some level. Just let your inner child out!
It hung no more than a hundred kilometers away, in sharp focus, a sight even more puzzling than before.
The author obviously has a good grasp of the science involved here, but he never bludgeons the reader senseless with it. This is an info-dump free zone!
"Something's down there all right," [she] said.
Reckoning Infinity seems to be able to steer clear of the blandness that can sometimes creep into exploration-type stories. In fact, I found the novel pretty exciting, with enough suspense and drama to counterpoint each discovery. Space exploration is, after all, a dangerous business.
"Anyone else getting a bad feeling about this?"
If the novel itself isn’t theatrical enough for your taste (there are, for example, no space fleets engaged in relativistic combat) then at least the grand finale is unlikely to disappoint if you appreciate the concept of ‘sensawunda’.
[He] spent little of his life looking back, but at that moment, he knew the recordings of this event were ones he'd replay again and again.
Things get a bit bizarre at times, in all truth, but this is a genre of ideas. And there it is. Highly recommended for fans of big dumb objects…
…that took his breath away and made him question whether he was hallucinating.
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