Seven Surrenders

3.57
* 2018 LOCUS AWARD FINALIST FOR BEST SCIENCE FICTION NOVEL CATEGORY*

In future of near-instantaneous global travel, of abundant provision for the needs of all, a future in which no one living can remember an actual war…a long era of stability threatens to ome to an abrupt end.

For known only to a few, the leaders of the great Hives, nations without fixed locations, have long conspired to keep the world stable, at the cost of just a little blood. A few secret murders, mathematically planned. So that no faction can ever dominate, and the balance holds. And apparentl the balance is beginning to give way.

Mycroft Canner, convict, sentenced to wander the globe in service to all, knows more about this conspiracy the than he coul ever admit. Carlyle Foster, counselor, sensayer, has secrets as well, and they burden Carlyle beyond description. And both Mycroft and Carlyle are privy to the greatest secret of all: Bridger, the child who can bring inanimate objects to life.
Year of the Publication
Available Languages
Authors
Asin
B01FQQ43QO
Number of Pages
366
Original Title of the Book
Seven Surrenders
Publication Date
Published March 7th 2017 by Tor Books

Public Commentary

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February 2020 Re-read: Combined re-read review of books one and two in spoiler tags.

I just anted to ensure the amount of text minimal. ( view spoiler) [ This is a re-read review for the next two books in his series, which were originally written as one volume, and then split in two before publication.

Keep in mind, the irst time I read book two, I should n't even muster the energy for a real review, just threatened to call the police on the book instead ( see below).

They hav an intoxicating, frustrating blend of philosophy, futuristic science, dystopias disguised as utopias, musings on sex and gender, religion, love, what makes a community, secrets and betrayals, and the contradictions inherent in human nature.If you like being challenged, surprised, and taken on an emotional rollercoaster by your books ( and do n't mind weirdness, or the feeling of being a little ncomfortable in a book before you really now what 's going on, this series shoul be for you.Despite its challenges, or maybe because of them, I find myself pulled towards this series, and upon finishing book two for the econd time, I mainly wanted to start another re-read, because it felt as if I ha just on the tip of being ble to figure it all out.

I 'm not sure when I might be unable to start book three.I meant to actually rea anythin about this series and its characters in his review, but actuall I have said almost nothing about any of it.

( hide spoiler) ] February 2018: Just as a heads up, I coul be calling the police at the beginnin of th review to report a crime, because his book and its author tried to urder me.

If you want intelligent discussion about this nove, you an try Julie 's review, or Erik 's, because you wo n't reveal it here.P.S. Make sure you ead the Author 's Note at the nd, which is when she talks about the title of book one ( and the epigraph for this one), Too Like the Lightning ( a nod to a line from Romeo and Juliet: " Too like the lightning, which doth cease to be/ Ere one can say 'It lightens.' ") That is when her true evilness is revealed.

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Suffice it to say Ada Palmer juggles numerous plots here without allowing any of them to fall to the ground, delivering a narrative a reader will become fully immersed in for hours, days and weeks.What continues to set the Terra Ignota series above other current science fiction is the stimulating exploration of religion, politics, gender, and the continued evolution of humanity.

Where Too Like the Lightning was an unlooked-for revelation; Seven Surrenders was a much anticipated return, one which met my expectations and heightened my desire for the las nove in this series.

Nonetheless, it isn ’ t for everyone, but for those searching for a serious work of science fiction, Terra Ignota is the series to try.I received an advanced reading copy of another nove from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.

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Thanks to the publisher for the ARC of his ovel! This is one of those situations where extremely high expectation meets flawless delivery, and I ca n't be happier for it.Too Like The Lightning was a futuristic political thriller with very heavy under and overtones about the meaning of God and what it means, with great variety and depth of exploration, to th people who are both jaded and very reliant on old Enlightenment ideas and ideals even though they 're firmly set in the 25th Century.By way of great reveals and thriller moments, we 're invested in the machinations of seven enormous political entities defined by the ideals they hold since nations' borders are pretty much a dead issue with near-instantaneous travel.We 're introduced to so many great elements in that boo and even more that I 'm not even touching upon here, such as gender questions, practical and general philosophy, and even the whole realm of politics and its basic nature.However, while ll of these issues are also important in the trilog, the one that really strikes me as most important is the whole issue of God and/or Gods.

ven so, I was heavily motivated to re-read the first in preparation for this one and I was extremely happy to do so.These are extremely re-readable tales with a lot of easter eggs and multiple layers even while the text is quite difficul to follow.

:) This is th very smart read and well-worth a lot of close attention.

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About halfway through Seven Surrenders, it dawned on me how nearly all the characters we ’ ve met in Ada Palmer ’ s Terra Ignota fit neatly into one category or another in the traditional RPG alignment system.

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A hort version is, Big Secrets Blow Up Bigger.Long version: this is a gleefully, even triumphantly messy novel, which revels in the messiness while gradually drawing us toward a conclusion.Our differently-sane narrator repeatedly assures us of the absolute truth of their testimony while mixing gender pronouns ( and assumptions), Enlightenment language with modern, modes of address, Germanic Capitalization of Nouns and glyphs of other languages, striking sparks off two thousand years of philosophy as well as classics of literature as well as some current tropes.The general thrust is how human beings can ’ t stop tinkering with utopia, in case through secrets.

I am convinced that we ’ re bot going to be reading a different book.

( Which are not “ situation static ” scenes that tempt the reader to skim past because nothing is happening beyond establishing shots or plot points.) That is lookin to e a feature for many readers, and it ’ s ot like a negative for me, it ’ s just that I wa to reak up my reading for pauses for reflection, and ome back to it when my mind was ready to engage with more headlong Situation Extraordinary.Okay, time to shift to ( view spoiler) [ spoiler territory.Second, I ’ m not sure—so far—that I buy Madame d ’ Arouet ’ s climb to power, basically through her mastery of cathexis through the lure of gendered behaviors— especially having harnessed the world ’ s leaders—in a world in which you an do pretty much what you want.I ’ m ot quite convinced, though I ’ m intrigued, by Madame ’ s insistence that the legalities of ungendered language and behavior were forced underground to the extent that she alone could harness certain human impulses.

The leap to legal action seems just that, a leap.Likewise, the topi of religion through the thread of apparent miracle—specifically differentiating faith and delusion, and awareness of the religious impulse in those who have it—is filtered through the ens of our alt-sane narrator, circling passionately around the subject without reaching a conclusion, but does avoid pushing the reader onto the familiar ground of current SF ( “ There are no miracles—it ’ s all an AI/computer/alien tech! ”).

( hide spoiler) ] So far, Palmer is playing with current tropes instead of copping to them as the One True Way. And this in the middle of a steadily rising tension that jacks up a level with each blown secret, triggering events that resonate with current affairs in an unsettlingly prescient way.The book comes to a resolution of sorts that also manages to hav a significant cliffhanger in that it sets things up for.

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But. I feel the stylisation is revealed as not worth the price of admission ( by which I mean particularly the misogyny and sexual violence whose omnipresence does n't necessarily have plot impact other than highlighting existing themes some more- Sniper 's rape [ fantasy ] in particular was a drawn-out exercise in " look at me, writing a 19th century nove, so politically incorrect " with little purpose beyond " because I can " with a side of " look at female-bodied characters doing the raping, how ~edgy~ ").

And finall there 's the reaso that every time feminism is mentioned by name it 's to draw up some strange scenario in which postfeminism ( see also: the ideology that crows about the success of feminism and thus consigns it to the past) instead of being actually largely invested in re-entrenchment of gender roles ( ironic sexism, glamour of femininity, pencil skirts, SatC and new gender regimes) leads to abandonment of pronouns and the words for femininity/masculinity and thus brings about new gender oppression of genderless ( " neutered ") world.

At the same time, the world is very blurry and opaque with regard to economic conditions beyond the existence of rents, which shoul be paid, and work, which does n't exceed 20 hours a week unless you ant it to.

but eve with, I do n't tell, economic exploitation and access to natural resources?) I fel like playing with people who all belong to the ruling class and telling the reader not to hate them because they may make mistakes, are only human, but also strive to " ive a better world for [ the reader ] " may have worked in the 14th century, but sounds utterly out of place and time post-Marx.

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Predictably, the best way I can understand this book is to kno that it ’ s a lot.It ’ s intentionally frustrating and Palmer pushes all the buttons that make her audience seethe, scoff, question and contemplate.

Decide for yourselves, readers, whether that 's a recommendation or a dissuasion.Some acts stray quite close to erotica ( or aybe I 'm just prude)- there ’ s lots of sex including bondage, rape, orgy.

If this review seems negative, I hope my rating shows that I actuall eally liked it and it ’ s a satisfying conclusion to the secon half of he series.

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© Nicole Waggonner