Alastair Reynolds has redeemed himself multiple times over from the disastrous ending of the Revelation Space trilogy.
However, Terminal World had me worried for a while before the wheels started spinning righteously. The mainly low-tech environment and the very gradual exposition took its time to work things out.
But they did.
And what a deliciously good book Terminal World turned out to be.
There’s more cool things here than many other authors manage to fit in industry-sized series. And even when Reynolds packs in zeppelins with flesh-eating cyborgs and layers secrets upon enigmas, the flow of the novel is not impacted. The plot steamrolls towards its inevitable termination, and provides an awesome travelogue all the while.
Just like Century Rain originally proved, the author moves elegantly in genres other than purest hard SF, and here the wonders are piled on relentlessly. And while the ultimate twist towards the end is not that big a surprise, it is nonetheless handled very well and it caps the story appropriately ambiguously.
And just like with Century Rain, what we’ve got is what we’ll get – this slice of the universe will not be explored further in later books.