The Prefect… a.k.a. “I know what you did last summer”, now in 3D

The Prefect… a.k.a. “I know what you did last summer”, now in 3D

I swear Alastair Reynolds is like crack. It’s bad for me, expensive, ghastly long and yet I always find myself reaching for one or another of his books whenever I go shopping. This novel was even worse, because I figured that if I had read Revelation Space and Chasm City, I might as well go for this one. Also, I am currently in the middle of Galactic North…

Anyway!

The Prefect is a tragic, high-tech detective story occurring between (and thanks to) two of the most traumatic events the humans settled around Epsilon Eridani had ever been subjected to (so far). It involves revenge, one evil electronic entity who wants to save everyone by killing them (first “wft?” moment), another evil electronic entity which turns out to have actually been misunderstood the whole time (a situation which could have led to something quite awesome if only the Clockmaker had made another appearance in the series), revenge, some minions, over-the-top technology and implants, revenge, an atomic trio formed of an old and wise prefect and his two juniors (one young female who is never in control of anything and one genetically modified pig who is actually better at his job than the rest of the genetically modified humans), deadly technology and a supreme commander who must continuously stay awake and in complete isolation and still manages to kick a**… oh, and did I mention revenge?

It’s long, it’s over the top (the two tags that should always be used when describing an Alastair Reynolds novel, which is a shame, because his short stories are awesome), but it’s fun… even the incredibly over the top, almost cartoonish bits. Such as Gaffney’s escape from prison which is straight out of any 90s movie involving Bruce Willis and baddies (see Die Hard). But, it managed to keep me glued… or better put, high. Also, the whip-hound is one cool weapon.

The book ends on a deceitful high note, because the reader (especially if subjected to other books in the series) does end up with a lot of questions, such as: where the hell are the prefects when the melding plague starts destroying the habitats and how come they weren’t able to stop its effects? And even more so, where the hell is the Clockmaker during the Revelation Space ark? See, I told you it’s crack…

Still, it was fun and easy to read (despite reaching the 600+ page count – seriously, are authors paid per word nowadays? Whatever happened to books that managed to be brilliant in 200 pages or less? – See Fahrenheit 451).

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