Our universe is ruled by physics, and faster-than-light travel is not possible - until the discovery of The Flow, an extradimensional field we can access at certain points in space-time that transports us to other worlds, around other stars.
Humanity flows away from Earth, into space, and in time forgets our home world and creates a new empire, the Interdependency, whose ethos requires that no one human outpost can survive without the others. It's a hedge against interstellar war - and a system of control for the rulers of the empire.
The Flow is eternal - but it is not static. Just as a river changes course, The Flow changes as well, cutting off worlds from the rest of humanity. When it's discovered that The Flow is moving, possibly cutting off all human worlds from faster-than-light travel forever, three individuals - a scientist, a starship captain, and the empress of the Interdependency - are in a race against time to discover what, if anything, can be salvaged from an interstellar empire on the brink of collapse.
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Sally on 14-04-17
I really struggled to finish this book and I'm surprised at how many good reviews it has.
The basic premis is fine and Wheaton does a reasonable job with the narration, but the dialogue is immature and seems to be aimed at young teenage boys. The culture is unrelentingly modern American in everything from dialogue to attitude and there is no sense at all of a multi cultural interplanetary society. Very few of the central characters were likeable and I really didn't care what happened to them, beyond wishing they could speak without swearing every orher word.
The author conveys no sense that mankind might be changed by living in space, something the Expanse novels handle well. Iain Banks could teach him a great deal about creating believable civilizations (and his ship names are far funnier) and Anne Leckie is so much better at drawing us in to complex alien politics.
I made it to the end only to discover that there's no real resolution and that this is mostly a set up for a series. I don't think I'll bother continuing.
32 of 39 people found this review helpful
By Ryan on 20-08-17
Cool concept, badly executed
This novel has cool central concept which is put to waste with some awful dialogue, unmemorable characters and such a lazy ending. Will Wheaton's over exaggerated performance doesn't help either
6 of 7 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Gonzalo on 11-05-17
Not the best of Scalzi
I like John Scalzi's work and in audio book I prefer it read by Will Wheaton. I was excited by this new book and series. Unfortunately the book in not the best Scalzi. often because of trademark Scalzi traits. The plot of an empire united by a subspace effect that allows for faster than light travel; now endangered because that effect is going away, is very interesting. I wish the author had taken this book more seriously. I like Scalzis humor but it gets in the way of the plot and makes some of the characters shallow and uninteresting. It wouldn't be a Scalia book without sarcasm and wit but it gets too crass and over the top for the needs of this story. The first book of his I read "The Androids Dream" needed it and was hilarious, but "Lock In" toned it down and was better for it. Wish this one had too.
47 of 55 people found this review helpful
By Jack O'neill on 02-04-17
Scalzi Can Do Better.
First, with the good. Wil Wheaton kills it; as always. Scalzi flexes his creative muscles in creating yet another vivid universe with a semi-original premise. Where this one really fell far short for me was an underwhelming story and dearth of developed characters. Both of which, Scalzi usually excels.
I still don't really understand why I should care that 'The Flow' was collapsing/changing. There were only two characters that I gave the slightest care about; Kiva and the new Empero, Cardenia. The former, from sheer shock value, and the latter from actual character development; the others merely fell flat.
And, Scalzi throws A LOT of characters at you. It's almost impossible to care about what happens to anyone. Without characters to really connect with, I wasn't invested in the premise. To paraphrase Scalzi's characters "Why should I give a shit?"
Overall, not a terrible romp to pass the time, but I know Scalzi is capable of far greater. Sorry, but this is one universe I think I'll 'Flow' away from in the future.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful