“Bit late for misgivings now.” I put a hand on hers, wondering why it had fallen on me to comfort her, not the other way around. “You wanted adventure, Adrana. Don’t be too sorry when it happens.”
However, I do think it worth noting that I was far more capativated by the world Reynolds created here than I was interested in the main characters and their journey. I have my suspicions as to why that is, but I’ll say it definitely wasn’t any flaw in the depth or relatability of the characters. Fura Ness and her sister, the pirates on the ship they join, and all the people we as readers encounter all feel alive and full – another credit to Reynolds’ writing.
“That’s the wonder and frustration of it, Arafura – fifty million prizes, and we’ll never know most of them before our time is done.”
“Our time,” I said with a little shiver. “You think it will end?”
The job Adrana and Fura take on at the beginning of their journey is an excellent example of what excites me so about the way the universe in Revenger is described. They’re hired to be “Bone Readers”, a job filled in equal measure by mysticism and hum-drum reality. Everything about life with the pirates is filled with this same balance, and it comes down to the reality of living in a very old universe populated by waves of people whose artifacts have outlived their knowledge not by generations, or centuries, but by civilizations. Reynolds spins this balance into silk thread, pulled taught by the opposing forces of the mystery of civilizations past and the necessary reality of making common, everyday life among (and from) their remains.
One of the things I most like about Reynolds’ writing style, and which really adds great enjoyment for me, is the way he names things. His vision of humanity throughout the universe is wonderfully illustrated through the way his humans name their surroundings*, their societies*, and of course the way they refer to aliens*.
Still, the most astounding thing to me is the way Reynolds builds a rich, rare, and gripping universe and backs it by history, society, and science – and introduces it to us through a narrative that never gets bogged down by the weight. It’s like he’s performing some kind of magic, and I’m looking forward to reading more of his work with an eye to his worldbuilding (perhaps 2018’s Elysium Fire).
The past is all we have. The least we can do is make the most of it.
*This would be the perfect place to provide examples, but the risk of spoilers is just too great. Please accept my apologies – or throw caution to the wind, jump into the comments, pop up a SPOILERS disclaimer, and tell me your favorite “Reynoldsisms”!