Monday, 12 February 2018

Elysium Fire by Alastair Reynolds

Series: Prefect Dreyfus Emergency, Book Two
Publisher: Gollancz
Format: Hardcover
Published: 25th January 2018
Number of Pages: 416
Book: For Review* 
Genre:  Science-Fiction, Space Opera, Crime Fiction, Thriller-Suspense, Mystery, Adult
Recommended Age: 13+
Contains: Violence, Death, Swearing
Author's Site: Alastair Reynolds

Blurb From Goodreads:
Featuring Inspector Dreyfus - one of Alastair Reynolds most popular characters - this is a fast paced SF crime story, combining a futuristic setting with a gripping tale of technology, revolution and revenge.
One citizen died a fortnight ago. Two a week ago. Four died yesterday . . . and unless the cause can be found - and stopped - within the next four months, everyone will be dead. For the Prefects, the hunt for a silent, hidden killer is on . . .
Alastair Reynolds has returned to the world of The Prefect for this stand-alone SF mystery in which no one is safe. The technological implants which connect every citizen to each other have become murder weapons, and no one knows who or what the killer is - or who the next targets will be. But their reach is spreading, and time is not on the Prefects' side.

He saw it now, what had always been there, always explicit, but which he only now forced himself t acknowledge in all its truth and simplicity.  To destroy Devon Garlin – to destroy the enemy of everything he held precious - it was first necessary to destroy Wildfire.
And so he would.”
The Glitter Band is a man-made system of planets and microworlds.  Run by the people, they are a utopia of sorts, where crime is almost non-existent.
But when it occurs, they need someone who can deal with it.  That’s why the Prefects were formed – a planet of police, ready to deal with anything that threatens to harm the Glitter Band.
Until they were forced to protect it by doing something unthinkable...
Now, dissent is rising among the worlds of the Glitter Band – led by a man named Devon Garlin, worlds are declaring independence from the Prefects.
Meanwhile, Prefect Tom Dreyfus and his fellow operatives are trying to stop a series of deaths – scores of people are dying, their implants overheating for no discernible reason, with no connection between the victims.  And the rate of Wildfire deaths is ever-increasing – soon it will be in the thousands and before long all of the Glitter Band could perish...
But when links begin to appear between the two cases, the risk of the destruction of the world as Dreyfus and the others know it is rising ever higher...
I have never read anything by Alastair Reynolds, but Elysium Fire intrigued me from the moment I received it.  Even though I hadn’t read any of the books in the series, let alone the previous Prefect Dreyfus Emergency, I was soon sucked right into the story.  I need to get my hands on the other books now – I am just in love with Dreyfus and the Glitter Band!  
Also, I’m pretty awful at reading sci-fi – let alone adult hard-core sci-fi space operas.  And there were a few terms I may have had to look up, but I found it really, really easy to just immerse myself in this world, in this story.  I’m a sucker for crime thrillers, although I think crime thrillers in space may have ruined me for the more mundane earthly kind!  
It helped that I just loved all of the characters in the book!  They were all brilliantly complex and three-dimensional.  I just need to read the first Prefect Dreyfus book so I can fully understand them all!  Because I need some more backstories, guys!
I love Tom Dreyfus – he is such a badass.  Plus he’s so driven and dedicated to protecting everyone.  I also love that while he’s very level-headed, he does lose his cool occasionally (to be fair, Garlin was a dick). I really have to read book one because I want to know more about him!
Jane Aumonier was awesome – such a brilliant leader and so very, very badass too.  She was tough, but fair – and when you messed with her, watch out!  I also loved Thalia and Sparver - they were amazing prefects and I just loved how they interacted together.  And I really enjoyed the characters of Julius and Caleb – and trying to figure out what their story was.  Those two intrigued me from the very beginning... 
This story was just genius.  I just loved the multiple story lines – we had the Prefects trying to solve the implant-caused deaths, then them trying to deal with the anarchy Garlin caused, and then there was another storyline following two boys with many a secret in their family past...  I just loved seeing how it all tangled together, all the little clues that we were given to unravel the plots and discover what was happening.  It was just so exciting and utterly addictive.
And I will admit, it probably would’ve helped if I’d at least read the previous Prefect Dreyfus book, because there were quite a few references to what occurred in it – but I managed to guess most things and catch up, so it really didn’t confuse me or take away from my enjoyment of Elysium Fire.
Oh, and have I mentioned the multiple perspectives?  No?  It was brilliant.  It let us follow so much action and mystery and plot lines in a single chapter and it really could’ve been confusing but it just wasn’t.  I loved it so very much! 
I honestly don’t know why I don’t read more sci-fi books – I enjoyed this so much.  Elysium Fire was exciting and intriguing and wonderful and I seriously have to get the rest of this series!  I definitely recommend the Prefect Dreyfus series to sci-fi lovers – and even those who don’t generally read sci-fi!  The crime thriller aspect is just amazing and I honestly can’t wait for my next adventure with Tom Dreyfus!

Star Rating:
4 Out of 5 

Read this book if you liked:
Prefect Dreyfus Emergency by Alastair Reynolds
Agent Cormac by Neal Asher
Invictus by Ryan Graudin
The Androma Saga by Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings

Happy Reading
* This book was received from Gollancz in exchange for an honest review

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