The Recollection by Gareth L. Powell [Book Review]

Love, Trade, Wars and Aliens

One day Arches starts to appear, first there are only a few but then more and more. Ed was having a fight with his brother when the brother was swallowed by one of the first. It was first later Ed learned that the Arches went places, places light years away. This story has wormholes but no faster than light travel. Time stops for people while they travel between two arches but they only move at light speed.

The interesting part starts when Ed and his brother’s wife Alice themselves enter an arch to search for the lost brother. Their complex motivation and feelings add spice as they travel through the arches and meets people and aliens there. They discover the nature of the arch network piece by piece.

At the same time there is a parallel story some four hundred years into the future about a female starship captain down on her luck betrayed by the man she believed loved her. They have kind of a Romeo and Juliet past. Their trading families are enemies.

The stories keep switching back and forth and it is quite obvious that they will meet up at some time.

Gareth paints the world as we move along in what the characters see but also in news lists at the beginning of some of the chapters in a way that feels natural and inspire further thoughts.

This quest to find the lost brother and the trade war between former lovers Katherine Abdulov and Victor Luciano would be enough to make a good story but there is more, much more.

The Recollection has mysterious ancient aliens with a gigantic diamond starship on the run from an equally ancient weapon, and a mind-boggling destiny beside a deeply satisfying human story.

The Recollection is an impressive debut by new-to-me novelist Gareth L. Powell. It was an immersive read I can really recommend to every fan of good space opera. This is obviously a part of a bigger tale even if a series is never mentioned. Even so it is pretty standalone. I wonder when the next book in this universe will be out because there are obviously more story to tell here. Hope it is soon.

Book Information

The Recollection by Gareth L. Powell (Solaris 2011) – Amazon UK | US

When his brother disappears into a bizarre gateway on a London Underground escalator, failed artist Ed Rico and his brother’s wife Alice have to put aside their feelings for each other to go and find him. Their quest through the ‘arches’ will send them hurtling through time, to new and terrifying alien worlds.

Four hundred years in the future, Katherine Abdulov must travel to a remote planet in order to regain the trust of her influential family. The only person standing in her way is her former lover, Victor Luciano, the ruthless employee of a rival trading firm.

Hard choices lie ahead as lives and centuries clash and, in the unforgiving depths of space, an ancient evil stirs…

Gareth L. Powell’s epic new science-fiction novel delivers a story of galaxy-spanning scope by a writer of astounding vision.