The Prefect


After reading Revelation Space I swore off Reynolds for good, but I was looking around for some sci-fi and he kept coming up.  Looking through the recommendations and reading the plot outline for The Prefect it took my fancy and I gave it a go.  I’m glad I did.

Although based in the same universe, the events take place at a completely different time (calling it a series is a misnomer) and is largely a detective story, following a prefect (basically a policeman) in the Glitter Band, a collection of 10,000 habitats near the planet Yellowstone.  Panoply, the police force, is charged with ensuring the voting process across all of these habitats happens democratically.

The story starts with prefect Tom Dreyfus and his team investigating the exploitation of a loophole followed by a series of strange, but seemingly unrelated events, until it becomes clear they’re facing a conspiracy to take control of the Band.

My criticism of Reynolds’ first book was it was science heavy and character light, but the balance is much better this time around, with plenty of interesting technologies, but kept in the background, used to develop the story, not taking centre stage, which leaves you room to explore with the characters and root for them.

All in all an enjoyable read.

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Reviewed: 18th May 2011