So far the reviews are mostly from people who read the less-polished advance reader copy I sent out. Here they are as of today — all five-star, which is a little offputting. The sample is skewed because these are readers who really liked the first two, so I expect new readers will be less kind!
Engrossing addition to the Substrate Wars saga
By Bookgirl on November 30, 2015
Shrivers are coming.
Complex plotting, political intrigue, and a galaxy-spanning saga–Shrivers builds relentlessly to a climax filled with surprises. Kinnison weaves multiple plot lines, characters, and different planetary settings together adroitly, crafting a tale that will captivate and delight hard science fiction fans.
By M. Cunningham on November 30, 2015
I was provided an advanced reader’s copy for review and found it to be a captivating and entertaining read. Mr. Kinnison has channeled his inner Heinlein to create a fitting wrap-up to the Substrate Wars trilogy. I was especially impressed by the creative use of Kat’s training in the virtual reality world of the substrate to create stories of how other aliens lived and reached the substrate. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who appreciates the golden age of science fiction.
Be careful what you wish for
By Rich on November 29, 2015
The third book catches up with what we’ve been wondering from the start– where is everybody else? The riddle of the Fermi Paradox is resolved, but the answer makes them wish they’d never asked the question. The limits of the seemingly unlimited new technology are revealed, with multiple major plots lines racing to meet where not only is humanity’s future at stake, but the soul of the universe. Kinnison handles the tasks with a tight focus and new characters, a thoroughly enjoyable conclusion to the series. (Note this review is for an advanced reader’s copy provided by the author.)
Just Survive Somehow
By Stan on November 28, 2015
(The review title is an Easter egg for TWD fans.)
The Substrate Wars continue with the third book in the series, and now the stakes are raised even higher: the potential destruction of all earth-based life! While looking for other civilizations, our heroes find nothing but devastation, utter and complete destruction. Planets nuked so thoroughly that the survival of anything but low-level deepsea-dwelling organisms is rendered impossible. Formerly advanced civilizations: gone, utterly wasted, from millions of years earlier to only a few hundred. This is a mystery to them until they unwittingly make themselves known to the Shrivers, a force reminiscent of Saberhagen’s Berserkers. Even though earthmen are now distributed in colonies dispersed about the galaxy, nevertheless they are all at risk, not only from the Shrivers, but from an unexpected early personal enemy. To find out if and how they survive this latest menace, read Shrivers! The action which some felt lagged a bit in the second book is back with a vengeance in the third book and now we have to await a fourth (and more?) book to find out what happens next.
An Excellent Ending to an Great Series!
By Joseph F. on November 27, 2015
When Jeb offered me the chance to take a look at the third book in his trilogy before it was released, I was thrilled to take him up on it.
I loved the first book, had a few minor quibbles with the second one but was absolutely astounded by the third book. I know, I reread it two times trying to knock holes in it knowing that if I found anything, Jeb would immediately address the issues, making it that much better.
Even after going back and rereading the whole series, I was not able to find anything at all that did not ring right. I looked hard and didn’t find a darn thing that I could jump on.
By far, this is the best book of the series–not that the other books aren’t excellent and I am one of those many readers who can really hardly wait to see what Jeb has in store for us in the future.
Hard science, and good action
By Donald W. on November 27, 2015
This review is based on a pre-release beta, some things may change in the final edition, I’ll let you know after Tuesday Dec 1, when the book is delivered 🙂 As Volume 3, most of you interested have read the first two, but if you are new to Jeb’s writing, I think you can jump in with this one cold. With the 10 year ‘hiatus’, since the first two, the plot will flow, but you will miss all the incredible speculative hard science of the first 2 books.
With that said, there is a lot of incredible speculative hard science in this one, not predicated on the originals, but supplement and extending it. Oh, and the plot just sings along, an interwoven tapestry of people, places and events that come together for the exciting conclusion (until Vol 4, which you should, along with me demand Jeb write soonest).
Without spoilers, the Shrivers kill civilizations, but the ancient civilizations do indeed exist. A fascinating speculation into the Fermi Paradox, it is entertaining as well an interesting take to an old problem we have been kicking around for a hundred years.
The galactic saga continues….annihilation or redemption
By Michael Z on November 27, 2015
I have read the previous two books in this series and really enjoyed reading them. This is the third, and it is a real page turner as well. These are my favorite type of scifi stories, non-stop action, twisting plot, space travel, technology and grand social implications. Every time one crisis is resolved another bigger one takes its place.
Jeb has grown the story to be galactic in scope. Finally, aliens have started to get involved. And they are taking sides. The stakes have gotten really big, total annihilation or redemption.