Slow Bullets by Alastair Reynolds
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The ending makes the tale, and this one is no different. I fell the familiar immersive narrative and enjoyed the stolid pacing that was the MO of the narrator, only slightly interested in the idea of slow bullets, but willing to make a full go of the novel anyway. What I wanted was a Revelation Space novel or novella, and I wasn't misled or disappointed. It did take some time to feel invested, but by the time I was seeing a tale of rebuilding civilization in the microcosm of a slowship carrying a penal colony and following a ship breakdown at the end of the voyage, I was good to go. The next reveal made me try to place them in the greater scheme of the future history, with fascination.
All of that was fine, and good, but it was the end reveal that showed the real meaning of the slow bullet, whether personal, interpersonal, or galactic. And it was Good. I'll probably be thinking about that one for a while.
The end reveal made this novel beautiful. The rest of the action and conflict made the rest of the tale feel a little marginal, even if it was full of historical pathos and a serious push for justice (or forgiveness).
Don't get me wrong, I love tales about trying to preserve knowledge, and this one certainly fits the bill, but it was the human factor, including redemption, however spurious and uncertain, that pulled on my mind.
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