Book reviews / Science Fiction

Book review: Noumenon Ultra

I’ve been taking an incredibly long time to read lately (as mentioned last time), as I’m pretty tired from work and living through Covid-times. So it took my longer than it should have to finish this novel given how much I was enjoying it (and how much I enjoyed the previous novels.

The benefit that did give me was that every time I jumped back in after a few days or a week, I was once again amazed at the sheer scope and audacity of this novel (and I suppose the series in general). It was just amazing how many different and interesting concepts together have been woven together in one series. From, the ‘immortals’ who in various ways don’t die, through accident and design, to the chrononauts from the far past. All of this wound around the megastructures that brought us along on this journey in the first place. And this isn’t even describing a fraction of the universe that has been built.

What an absolute feast of ideas, concepts and stories. And despite the vast scales of time, the use of clones and immortals allowed us to hook onto people and names, keeping the story feeling approachable and familiar. And alongside these vast concepts of physics and space-time, the woven tapestry of people’s lives. I just find it remarkable that the author could even conceptualise all that. It was vast and imaginative of a scale of the books I have really loved – like the Foundation Series when I was a kid or more recent reads.

I only wish I had re-read the earlier series at it took a few chapters to get myself back into that universe. I think this is the fault of me being so utterly tired than the book though. This series is only going to make me more annoyed at series that sacrifice the first book or just fill their pages with pointlessness, as I’d be hard-pressed to find another series with so many interesting concepts and stories in such a neat a package. Each novel has its own identity and takes along (in time and space) towards the final revelation.

The absolute hopeful nature of this novel and the whole series – just fantastic. I just adore the spirit of inquiry and adventure, with all its up and downs, backed with this ardent belief in science. It’s just such a wonderful place to spend some time, you know? The best of humanity (and the ways it evolved) on offer, rather than just violence and torturing the main characters until a resolution. There are challenges, sure, danger, sure, but not characters being flung from disaster to crisis, never sleeping, never catching a breath. The story and characters get to breathe.

And finally…OMG ICC IS BACK!!! Sorry, tiny spoiler.

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