If I’ve got my timeline right, this is set after the events of book one – The Star Fraction, and before book two – The Stone Canal, and nicely fills in some gaps about what happened on Earth while the events of earlier books were being set up as well as explaining the alternate technology seen in book three – computers like Babbage engines. Like the others, it’s filled with thoughts and thought experiments on political ideologies playing out.
Split between the future of (around) 2058 and some far-off future some few hundred years further than that; it’s the later story I find more compelling of the two. Unfortunately, it doesn’t get as much time as the events in the earlier period, but it is one I would love to hear more about.
It hasn’t quite reached the post-capitalist society of the third book, but society is on its way there. Reaching once again for the stars after a catastrophic event in the past rendered lifting off into Earth’s orbit impossible.
Clovis, a young scholar in the future, wants to know all about the life of The Deliverer – Myra Godwin – who ushered in the world as he knows it. Merrial, a ‘tinker’, or someone who knows about the ‘dark arts of the lost technologies of the world, has reasons of her own to bring Myra’s life into the open.
And in the near future, Myra Godwin is dealing with life after the Fall Revolution (of book one), and we spend a lot of time getting to know the how and the why of what happened to cause ‘the deliverance’.
I’ve got to be honest and admit a lot of the political stuff went over my head. Like those before it in the series, the novel delves into intricate political and philosophical ideas, which can make it challenging for someone like me who has never taken much of an interest in politics.
The philosophical ideas expounded in these books I do enjoy, though. MacLeod’s examinations and thoughts on future human societies reaching into the stars and living for hundreds of years is a topic I’ve found myself enjoying on many occasions.
The narration by Lucy Paterson was excellent. The story draws in characters from around the world, and Paterson’s managed to give them all their unique voice. The quality wasn’t perfect but was pretty close. Only a few really minor background noises, and the occasional re-take which sounded slightly different. Nothing bad enough that I’d dock points for.
This was my second visit to The Sky Road, my first being on Kindle. I’d forgotten all but some of the broad strokes so it was mostly like a new story. I think I appreciate this more as an audiobook than I ever did the Kindle version, so I’ll likely revisit again when going over the whole series again.