The Well of Stars, Paperback Book

The Well of Stars Paperback

5 out of 5 (1 rating)


The Great Ship is home to a multitude of alien races and a near-immortal crew.

They have toured the Milky Way for millennia, the best and the brightest from a thousand worlds, but the true purpose of the Ship has remained hidden.

Now, time is running out. The huge spacecraft is heading for the dark, immense, region of space known as the Ink Well, and the only entity in the universe more vast and mysterious than the Great Ship is lying in wait ...'THE WELL OF STARS is wonderful far-future SF of the best kind: imaginative, epic, mind-blowing, but anchored by a strong sense of character and a glorious cast of heroes and rogues.

The Great Ship is surely one of the most audacious creations in recent SF.' ALASTAIR REYNOLDS


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Science fiction
  • ISBN: 9781841492568



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I enjoyed the prequel to this book, 'Marrow', but found it lacking in some respects. This is a different experience altogether, but it does help to have read the first book just to start getting your head around the setting.The Great Ship is the size of a Jovian planet. Humans were the first to discover it, empty and drifting, and they took it over. Centuries later, the Ship has become the ultimate cruise liner, voyaging the galaxy to allow different races to come together, explore and journey or just plain hang out together. As there is no faster-than-light travel in Reed's universe, the biological forms overcome this by having greatly extended lifespans as well as advanced medical techniques to overcome many of the more inconvenient kinds of death.The first novel, 'Marrow', had a lot of scene-setting and a plot about the very centre of the Great Ship, an ordinary planet-sized core called Marrow. The trouble was that, having given his characters extended lifespans, Reed had to do something with them, and it made for quite a static story. Civilizations rose and fell in the course of a few pages. Not so in this book; suddenly the plot is far more mobile, there are new characters and many more of them; and there is wide-screen action on a scale that I found staggering.This is certainly a book of contrasting scales; one minute you are contemplating parts of the Ship and boggling at its size; the next, the focus has pulled out and you are watching a major space battle as the movements of pinpricks of light. There are more incidental characters, and they are actually interesting people, if still a little fleeting in their passage through the pages; and the level of invention is up there with the rest and the best of Reed's earlier work.This isn't the end of the story; another book is signposted at the close of this one. But with this size of canvas, there's enough scope for as many books as Reed can produce. And if they're all like this, then I'll have no problem with that.

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