Nevil Clavain has lived for four hundred years and he has seen his share of war. As the depth of a new threat awakened decades ago — The Inhibitors — becomes clear, Clavain is forced to reconsider his allegiances. Meanwhile, the mysterious Ilya Volyova has plans for her cache of self-aware doomsday weapons.
Redemption Ark is a superb sequel book. It’s littered with cameos and direct storyline continuations set up in both Revelation Space and Chasm City (and even some of Reynolds’ short stories such as Galactic North). Yet it is also a great story in its own right and you could, if you wanted to, read it without having read any of the other books.
It’s hard sci-fi and clearly the work of a working scientist; the result is super-modern space opera sci-fi, the kind which probably isn’t disproved until centuries from now. It features mindboggling ideas and bunches of BDOs i.e. all you could ever want from the genre. Redemption Ark is a bit on the long side, but it’s still a pleasure to read.
The chronology of these books is a bit confusing. While Revelation Space (2000) was the first “in-universe” book Reynolds wrote, it’s storyline was set after both The Prefect (2007) and Chasm City (2001) (both standalone novels). As such, Redemption Ark is the first direct sequel to Revelation Space. It is followed (story-chronology-wise) by Absolution Gap (2003).