Noumenon Infinity is the sequel to Noumenon, which I really enjoyed, and still think as one of the better space convoy novels. It’s both a continuation of that first story and a completely divergent story.
The things I really enjoyed about the first novel still remain, there are still the clone-lines and ICC (though sadly, not enough ICC for my liking). But this time there is a second convoy, one that was supposed to test new sub-dimensional drives and stay close to Earth. However, this doesn’t exactly work out as planned. There’s an accident and Convoy 12 ends up far, far from home (in both a time and space sense).
While Noumenon Infinity was more wide ranging (and had the competing story lines), it still nicely fit together. It took me a little while to get into it, I think more or less because I was distracted and not the novel itself. But once I got going, I was hooked. It has delightful story telling, heartache and drama but all with this deep sense of mission and discovery which I loved.
I think that is what sets both of these novels apart from other science-y space-y novels, you do get that sense of deep commitment and purpose of the mission. There are so many useful (but not superfluous) details about the characters lives and professions. It’s just really refreshing? I often find that some novels make things too idealised, so I like the messiness of it all. There’s still sometimes the big jumps in time, so occasionally things feel like they move too quickly, but I don’t think you can get THAT big of a story if you don’t commit to jumping forward in time.
I also was a bit skeptical at first about some of the more uhhh strange effects of the accident on some of the crew in Convoy 12, but I’m basically hoping this might lead to a third book as that seemed to be largely unresolved?
I also liked how there were changes in society and pageantry (maybe, I guess religion) with Convoy 7. It’s not just a story about a convoy in space, it’s about the changing of societies in these convoys. AND THE PEOPLE. Still such a wonderfully diverse and interesting bunch of people, so lovely.
I did TOTALLY guess the big twist nearish the end (maybe it isn’t a huge twist) which I was kind of super pleased about.
Anyway, definitely pick up both of these if you’re looking for a more interesting take on adventuring in space. At the same time it feels utterly fantastical but entirely probable. Also, it’s just hopeful which I adore in science fiction, because there isn’t enough hopefulness out there sometimes.