“Vortex” by Robert Charles Wilson (Tor, 2011)

Vortex
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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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You might also like . . .

Spin    Axis    Chronoliths

“Axis” by Robert Charles Wilson (Tor, 2007)

Axis
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Robert Charles Wilson’s sequel to the Hugo Award winning Spin, Axis, does what not a lot of sequels do: it continues readers on this most unique story, but with a whole new world and cast of characters that helps to give everything a new pristine look, as if one were reading a individual, stand-alone novel, and not a sequel.

The god-like beings known as the Hypotheticals are doing what they do best: messing with the ways of the cosmos.  In Axis, the reader travels through the giant arch gate located in the Indian Ocean and into the new and different world known as Equatoria, which was apparently created for humanity by these Hypotheticals.  Lise Adams travels to Equatoria in search of her missing father.  She hires Turk Findley, who has a less than clean rap sheet, to fly her to her father’s last known destination.  Lise’s father was obsessed with the Hypotheticals, so now she hopes to not only find out what happened to him, but perhaps get some answers to these mysterious beings.

Then there is Isaac, a genetically engineered child who is to serve as a conduit between humanity and the Hypotheticals, and now he is coming of age and his true fruition will come to pass.  Lise and Turk meet up with Isaac and they continue their journey deeper into Equatoria in search of answers.  And it seems as if the Hypotheticals are making things happen, as underground something mighty is awoken and the earth begins to tremble.

While it’s not required that one read Spin before you tackle Axis, it certainly helps to provide a foundation for the reader, nevertheless Wilson does a good job of answering the questions and covering a little of what happened in the previous book; one of the characters even shows up as a surprise.  Axis also does what Spin did very well: provide a good story with some great characters.  Readers will be hooked with the captivating duo in Lise and Turk, as their unusual pasts are explored while the book progresses; and then there is the unique Isaac.  Readers will be not be able to put down this worthy sequel leading up to an important climax that gets resolved in the final book of the trilogy, Vortex.

Originally written on September 21, 2011 ©Alex C. Telander.

CLICK HERE to purchase your copy from Bookshop Santa Cruz and help support BookBanter.

You might also like . . .

Spin    Mysterium    Chronoliths