Robert Charles Wilson returns with the thrilling conclusion to his trilogy that began with Spin and Axis, in Vortex. Like the previous sequel, this one begins with something completely new and different from the other novels, immediately hooking in the reader, though this time Wilson provides a familiar face, Turk Findley, to guide the reader along.
Through the power of the enigmatic beings known as the Hypotheticals, Turk has been transported ten thousand years into the future, along with the unique character of Isaac Dvali, who was created as a conduit to the Hypotheticals. They find themselves joining with a population known as the Vox, who travel on a massive island that is the size of a continent. The Vox have been traveling for centuries through the arches to different worlds. They know that the world known as Earth, which is now in ruin and degradation, but it is the place where they hope to finally face and commune with the Hypotheticals.
The strange twist to this is that this story of Findley, Isaac and the Vox is being told through the journal writings of a troubled man known as Orin Mather, ten thousand years in the past (set in the world and time of Spin), who is being helped by a psychiatrist, Sandra Cole, as well as a cop, Bose. They’re all trying to deal with this story set in the distant future and decide whether it’s true or a work of fantastic fiction.
Readers of the trilogy may not get all the resolution they expect, especially not if they’re wondering what happened to certain characters in Spin, or why things are happening the way they are and at this time, i.e. why the Hypotheticals are doing this? However, readers will be completely hooked by the great storytelling and full and developed characters that are all trying to understand the big why of it all, just like the reader. And it is really only at the very end of Vortex that readers get the full answers they’ve been patiently waiting for since the stars blacked out and disappeared long ago in Spin.
Originally written on September 21, 2011 ©Alex C. Telander.
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