{4.5/5} “The famous ‘fourth stage of life,’ the adulthood after adulthood, had entailed changes to the brain that modified aggressiveness and promoted sympathy for others… Nowadays — assuming you had serious money and the right contacts — you could buy yourself an extra twenty or thirty years of life while avoiding that awkward surge of human sympathy.”

Vortex by Robert Charles Wilson, published in 2011

Turk Findley wakes up to find that he’s still on Equatoria, but 10 000 years have passed. The Arch that used to take people from Equatoria to Earth is broken, but the people of Vox believe that they’ll be able to get to Earth if they have him with them. Vox is an artificial island that had sailed between worlds for centuries, and it’s at war with people who are trying to prevent them from reaching Earth.

This one takes a little while to get going, but if you’ve read other books by Wilson you know it will be worth it. Two characters from the previous book have been resurrected by the temporal Arch — Turk Findley and Isaac Dvali.

The two storylines in the book have an unusual relationship, which is not completely revealed until the end. You’ll find out all there is to know about the Hypotheticals eventually, and in the meantime you’ll get a great story with interesting characters.

I previously reviewed the second book in the trilogy, Axis. I’ve now read 11 of Wilson’s books — all except the first 4 and the last 2.

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