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Products of this store will be shipped directly from Hong Kong to your country. Sad trombone. Overall Axis was an enjoyable read, worth it even if it is only a whirlwind tour of Equatoria on our way to Vortex. Axis is set approximately 30 years after the conclusion of the first book in the series, Spin , and takes place on the world set up by the Hypothetical at the end of that book. We start the story with a boy, a boy who is in some way we don't yet know special. Martian and Earth relations have gone south in a somehow uninteresting way, and while the author brings up again the lack of resources and destruction of the planet, there are no real concrete examples to demonstrate that, other than certain Axis is set approximately 30 years after the conclusion of the first book in the series, Spin , and takes place on the world set up by the Hypothetical at the end of that book.
Martian and Earth relations have gone south in a somehow uninteresting way, and while the author brings up again the lack of resources and destruction of the planet, there are no real concrete examples to demonstrate that, other than certain characters general longing for home, which could simply translate to a longing for childhood. While the panic of losing the stars in Spin left a lasting impression, little about this world did. It's mentioned, the impact of knowing another world is right at your fingertips, but if felt artificial.
We revisit some characters from the original book, but most of those introduced here fell flat. The major driver of the plot, and what kept me reading, were the Hypotheticals. The rise of the "Fourths" on Earth and in the new world played a central role, but it also didn't have the impact it did in the original book. Most of things discussed here about Fourths were already revealed in Spin, so it was repetitive. Maybe if I hadn't read the books back-to-back that wouldn't have been an issue? Considering there was an entirely new world introduced in this book, there was very little world building to be had, which was a larger issue for me.
All the disappointments aside, I will continue with the third book in the series, and hope this is just "middle book" issues working their way out. Spin took an epic hard science fiction concept then focused on the human reaction, leading to a very approachable and enjoyable book. Axis , the sequel, fails in every way that Spin succeeded.
The story is small, the characters are flat and uninteresting, the setting was remarkably stale. The timeline also seemed questionable in relation to the previous book, although I may have simply misread or misunderstood when this story is supposed to take place. Overall, one of the more disappointing seque Spin took an epic hard science fiction concept then focused on the human reaction, leading to a very approachable and enjoyable book.
Overall, one of the more disappointing sequels I've read, perhaps enhanced by the fact that, in my opinion, Spin in no way required a sequel. I'm sure I'll end up reading the third and presumably final book, but I can only hope that it is a big step up from this one. Book 1 of this series, "Spin" was so very cool it was inevitable that any sequel was going to be a little of a letdown.
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Well, this is more than a "little" letdown. It's still a pretty cool novel in itself, but the magic of "Spin" is lost here. The action being moved to a remote planet instead of Earth this time, following a group of mostly uninteresting characters, and taking the plot sideways instead of forwards to an "absolute" resolution, I found this to be harder to read. I didn't care as muc Book 1 of this series, "Spin" was so very cool it was inevitable that any sequel was going to be a little of a letdown.
I didn't care as much what happens to this new planet, or to the new cast. The mysteries of the falling ashes and of the Isaac child are still okay-ish, but nowhere as cool as those in book 1. Jan 06, vonblubba rated it liked it. Axis is as well written as spin was, but unfortunately it lives off the ideas already introduced in spin. Nothing new is added to the mix. Alas if possible something is taken away, because characters in axis are more 2-dimensional and it's more difficult to empathize with them. Oct 24, Eliatan rated it liked it Shelves: sci-fi , bought , kindle. He's still not giving anything away about what the Hypotheticals motives might be, this series is just one big wait and see!
And yet, I quite like being blindly taken along for the ride with the failible and fleshed out characters blowing from here to there on the whim of these vast but not entirely benign intelligences. These are truly inscrutable aliens and their timescales and ours may never see eye to eye.
I'm certainly ready to dive into book three to see if my continued curiosity is rewarde He's still not giving anything away about what the Hypotheticals motives might be, this series is just one big wait and see! I'm certainly ready to dive into book three to see if my continued curiosity is rewarded. Jan 07, Elze rated it really liked it Recommends it for: People who like character-driven soft SF. It does not attempt to span decades of history, and so it avoids long stretches of tedium with which "Spin" is riddled.
In "Axis" we don't have to watch the characters live their pedestrian lives while mysterious events unfold somewhere in the background. The main characters are always in action, and plot tension is sustained from beginning to end. However, "Axis" is also a lot less conceptual than "Spin". It does not introduce new ideas, only elaborates and only minimally on the ones introduced in "Spin". My biggest disappointment with this book was that we don't really learn more about the Hypotheticals than we knew at the beginning.
The idea that the Hypotheticals come to Earth to collect memories and upload them into some kind of vast cosmic network, is so basic and vague that it does not advance our understanding of the Hypotheticals very much. We still don't know why they want those memories, what they are going to do with them, or why did they have to move the Earth billions of years ahead in time. Or why did they attach a parallel universe to it, joined by the Arc.
I wonder if the author chose an ignorant and simple-minded protagonist, a year-old child, to communicate with the Hypotheticals, so as not to have to intelligently speculate about all that. I would have been more interested if the communicator was someone educated, especially someone who had studied the Hypotheticals, such as Lise's father. If Lise's father had enough material to write a book about them, he must have had more than just vague speculations?
Apparently the focus of this trilogy is not the Hypotheticals, but how the contact with them will affect humanity. At the end of "Axis" it becomes clear that the third book will be about humanity having to deal with uploading and the "5th age". This makes me look forward to it despite the underwhelming second book. Although scientific mysteries go unanswered, "Axis" is still a good character-driven novel.
With just a few brushstrokes Wilson sets up a wide range of believable characters. There is a determined truth-seeker Lise ; a person whose purpose in life is to preserve the existing order Lise's ex-husband ; a drifter who is nevertheless courageous and likeable Turk ; there are characters who and resist change kicking and screaming, like Lise's mother; and ambitious opportunists who seek to manipulate the change for their own purposes, like Dr.
For some reason secondary characters like Brian the ex-husband, and Dr. Dvali came through as the most vivid, while the protagonist, Lise, somehow didn't feel like a real person to me. But overall the diverse cast of characters and the plot tension made this book an enjoyable read. May 13, Darin Ramsey rated it liked it Shelves: modern-sf. This book reminds me, in unfortunate ways, of Greg Bear 's Eternity. I really enjoyed Eon , and was happy about there being a sequel Axis eventually drops in a couple of lines to let you know what happened to Tyler and Diane after Spin , but we're pretty much meeting people utterly unconnected to that first book.
This is a problem for me because it's very difficult to do well. The Foundation Trilogy manages to skip like a stone across the This book reminds me, in unfortunate ways, of Greg Bear 's Eternity. The Foundation Trilogy manages to skip like a stone across the decades and centuries because it does it from the beginning; Speaker for the Dead keeps the characters we love at the center.
Wow, how did I get way out here in left field? The point is, I kept reading because I love the idea of the Hypotheticals, and the millennia needed to fire the synapses, so to speak. Even the motivator for the protagonist, Lise, in the mystery of what happened to her father, never became important to me. I'm sure I'll read Vortex , eventually, but it's not in the top ten of my to-read list.
Putting down Spin I swore I wouldn't read this one. Spin was compelling up until the end, when it got weird. And you know what? It was pretty good. The entire book takes place on the planet that's "connected" to Earth by the strange Arch in the Indian Ocean that appears at the end of Spin. For the most part, a new set of characters -- lost, a little bit broken, and looking for some kind of personal redemptio Putting down Spin I swore I wouldn't read this one. For the most part, a new set of characters -- lost, a little bit broken, and looking for some kind of personal redemption on this new world.
Into this mix step a cult of "fourths" looking to communicate with the mythical Hypotheticals. What will we learn about the aliens who encased Earth? This struck me as a much tighter story than its predecessor. Consequently, it seemed to hang together a little better.
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It still got a little weird at the end, but it closed beautifully and I can forgive almost anything in exchange for a poetic ending. Feb 15, Dave rated it it was ok. While technically a sequel to Spin, it's only a sequel in the sense that is takes place after Spin in the same universe.
It doesn't follow the characters of Spin, except one who was fairly minor and then only peripherally. The story lacks the cool ideas of Spin, and it seems like this book was written purely to set up the next in the series. Very little is resolved. The storytelling suffers from the switch to third person POV.
And Wilson still over-utilizes time-jumping and flashbacks, except now While technically a sequel to Spin, it's only a sequel in the sense that is takes place after Spin in the same universe. And Wilson still over-utilizes time-jumping and flashbacks, except now it's even more disjointed and out of place. We'll be in the middle of an interesting scene and all of a sudden Wilson decides to take a break from the story to tell us some event from the past that explains why the character feels upset at something someone just said or did.
Overall, this was a hastily written sequel, never intended to be written, but done so because his first book became relatively successful and either Wilson or the publishers wanted to cash in on that. That's not to say a good sequel couldn't have been written for Spin, but this isn't it. Oct 25, Jeff Raymond rated it liked it Shelves: read-sci-fi , books-i-own. Axis , while in the same universe, ends up feeling more like an add on than a solid expansion of the story.
The book basically takes place on Mars, created by the same aliens who put a shell around the Earth. Part mystery and part excuse to come back to the story, we get more mysterious happenings from the alien race along the way. I read this a few weeks ago before writing this, and it's stunning how little I remember about it. That's how utterly disposable this story is on a whole, and one has to wonder what went wrong overall. While Robert Charles Wilson can be hit or miss, it's just a fascinating read to see where this missed.
Just not a great read at all, but not terrible enough to toss aside. Sort of like a b-side compilation album that you're glad exists even if it isn't great. A good novel in and by itself, but a bit of a letdown from the first of the series. The novelty of Spin does not necessarily carry over in the second volume. It is interesting, but does not add much to Spin. Will read the third one some time in the future to kinda close the topic on it Feb 28, Angela rated it it was amazing.
Oh boy was this book a nice surprise, especially after so many lukewarm reviews!
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I really put off reading it for a long time, because I was afraid I'd be disappointed. Spin definitely earned its Hugo because Robert Charles Wilson pulled off the near impossible with his great ending. Stephen King has said something to the effect that once you show the monster in the closet, it's all over; your readers aren't going to be scared any more. This is so true - so many endings just don't live up to the Oh boy was this book a nice surprise, especially after so many lukewarm reviews!
This is so true - so many endings just don't live up to the build-up in the book, and yet somehow Wilson came up with a spectacular conclusion totally worthy of the rest of Spin. I just didn't see how he could keep this going in the next part of the story. I should have had more faith! I'm not a big fan of sequels that just are just retreads of the original story, and I really felt that Wilson had taken Tyler and Diane about as far as he could go with them.
So I was not at all disappointed to find that the next part of the story is about different characters. I think readers who are looking for more of their story might be let down, but Diane does make an appearance in this book as an old woman, and it is fitting that she does so, with her personal history being more relevant to the themes that are covered here. And it is the themes that are the really interesting part of this story. Wilson created a fascinating world and what-if scenario with Spin , and Axis starts picking up threads that he had no time to deal with there.
How would people react to the existence of the Hypotheticals? How would humans deal with a brand new world given to them - would they take a smart environmental approach the way they did on Mars - or would business as usual continue? How would Earth humans and Mars humans relate to each other, with , years of civilization separating them? Where did the Martians get their life extension treatment in the first place? These are just a few of the fascinating ideas explored in this novel. Now I just can't wait for the next one! Feb 25, Christy rated it liked it Shelves: science-fiction-and-fantasy , canadian-lit.
Robert Charles Wilson's Spin which I wrote about a while ago is a wonderful book, one I recommend regularly; Axis , the follow-up to Spin , is not so wonderful. Axis is far from a bad book. It is entertaining and includes some well-crafted scenes, some focusing on the characters and some on the scenery of a new world or on the results of the general weirdness that goes on to say more would be to give away too much, I think.
But the philosophical weight and character-driven focus of Spin is mis Robert Charles Wilson's Spin which I wrote about a while ago is a wonderful book, one I recommend regularly; Axis , the follow-up to Spin , is not so wonderful. But the philosophical weight and character-driven focus of Spin is missing. It seems at times as if Wilson does attempt to build the same kind of balance between character and plot and to carry out the same forward momentum that Spin maintains so well, but these attempts in Axis feel shallow in comparison.
What's more, while the sequel does elaborate more on the breadth and function of the Hypotheticals than Spin is able to do, this elaboration is only a small part of the novel, a part that is dealt with in short, fast-moving chapters that are chock full of physical and at least intended emotional upheaval. This makes for a good adventure story but doesn't allow for much thought beyond, "Oh, so that's what's going on I get it, I guess. And that space for meditation is what makes Spin a great book and not just an exciting book.
If you've read Spin and you're just dying to know more about the new worlds that are opened up by that book or about the Hypotheticals, you might want to read Axis. It will provide more information. But don't read Axis expecting another book of Spin 's caliber. Jul 19, Laurie rated it really liked it. I've always thought of Wilson as a very original and intelligent storyteller.
There was always talk of time and stars and the Hypotheticals, of technology and biology, of evolution and transformation. The debates—were the Hypotheticals properly called beings, conscious entities, or were they some vast and mindless process? It was as if in some nearby but inaccessible room the universe itself was being taken apart and reassembled. Tonight the murmur was subdued. There was a newcomer present: the old woman from the road.
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Isaac, bashfully taking a seat between Dr. Dvali and Mrs. Rebka, cast furtive glances at her. She did not return them; in fact she seemed indifferent to his presence at the table. When the opportunity arose, Isaac studied her face.
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She was even older than he had guessed. Her skin was dark and skeined with wrinkles. Her eyes, bright and liquid, peered out from skully chambers. She held her knife and fork in long, fragile fingers. Her palms were pale. She had changed out of her desert garb into clothing more like what the other adults wore: jeans and a pale yellow cotton shirt. Her hair was thin and cut close to the scalp. She wore no rings or necklaces. In the crook of one elbow was a patch of cotton held down with surgical tape: Mrs.
Rebka, the community physician, must already have taken a blood sample from her. But that happened to every newcomer. Isaac wondered if Mrs. Rebka had had a hard time finding a vein in that small sinewy arm. He wondered what the blood test had been meant to detect, and whether Mrs. Rebka had found what she was looking for. No special attention was paid to the newcomer at dinner. She joined in conversation but the talk remained superficial, as if no one wanted to give away any secrets before the stranger was fully approved, absorbed, understood.
It was not until the dishes had been cleared and several pots of coffee placed on the long table that Dr. Dvali introduced Isaac to her. What did that mean? And—to meet him? Her voice was not the harsh croak he had expected. In fact her voice was mellifluous despite a certain grit. He nodded cautiously. Dvali or the more sympathetic Mrs.
He was afraid of the scrutiny it would bring. Sulean Moi, who moved into the compound, made a point of visiting him every morning after classes and before lunch. At first Isaac dreaded these visits. But she was steadily, courteously friendly.
She respected his silences, and the questions she asked were seldom awkward or intrusive. Because he preferred to be alone he had been given this room to himself, a small but uncluttered chamber on the second story of the easternmost wing of the largest house. There was a window overlooking the desert, and Isaac had put his desk and chair in front of that window, his bed against the farther wall. He liked to keep the shutters open at night, to let the dry wind touch the bedsheets, his skin. He liked the smell of the desert. A slant of sunlight through the window illuminated her left side, one arm and the parchment of her cheek and ear.
Her voice was almost a whisper. But one not very different. Or at least I thought I did. Dvali and the rest. They used to ask me a lot of questions—how I felt, and what ideas I had, and what things in books meant. He wanted to believe her. But she was new, she had walked through the desert with the nonchalance of an insect on a sunny rock, her purposes were vague, and Isaac was still reluctant to share his most troublesome secrets.
Rebka taught him basic biology, Ms. Fischer taught him the geography of Earth and the New World, Mr. Nowotny told him about the sky and the stars and the relationship of suns and planets. Dvali taught him physics: inclined planes, the inverse square, electromagnetism. Isaac remembered his astonishment the first time he saw a magnet lift a spoon from a tabletop.
An entire planet pulling downward, and what was this bit of stone in its power to reverse that universal flow? He had only begun to make sense of Dr. Last year Dr. Dvali had shown him a compass. The planet, too, was a magnet, Dr. Dvali said. It had a rotating iron core, hence lines of force, a shield against charged particles arriving from the sun, a polarity that distinguished north from south.