Diamond Dogs, Turquoise Days (Revelation Space #5) ★★★★☆

diamonddogsturquoisedays (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Diamond Dogs, Turquoise Days
Series: Revelation Space #5
Author: Alastair Reynolds
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF
Pages: 296
Format: Digital Edition



This book consists of the two Revelation Space novellas that make up the title of this book.

Diamond Dogs follows a man driven to explore a mysterious tower on a forsaken planet. The tower is made up of rooms with a puzzle in each room. Answer correctly and the door to the next room opens. Answer incorrectly and the Tower punishes you. This man gathers a group together and they begin the journey. They have a geneticist with them who helps change their bodies and minds to answer the various challenges. Along the way it is revealed that the man is actually a clone of the original man. Each clone is programmed with the memories of all those who came before and convinced that that particular clone CAN beat the tower. Eventually, only 2 other members of the group and the clone survive and the 2 remaining members turn back before they die. The clone continues on. Eventually one of the members can’t resist the lure and the story ends with him sneaking off on a spaceship to return to the Tower.

Turquoise Days follows 2 sisters on a Pattern Juggler world. Pattern Jugglers are ocean wide remnants of a civilization. They take in the mind of anyone who swims in their oceans and sometimes rearrange the swimmer’s mind and gives them a boost. The planet sees a spaceship coming and one night there is unprecedented Pattern Juggler activity. The sisters go swimming illegaly and one becomes one with the ocean and other has nothing happen to her. The spaceship arrives 2 years later with a contingent of scientists who want to study the Pattern Jugglers. Only it turns out they trying to revive a specific memory in the Pattern Jugglers and imprint it on all of their members. Said memory is of a Tyrant. The remaining sister convinces the Pattern Jugglers to resist the invaders and it does, agains all the humans on the planet. The book ends with the remaining sister giving herself to the ocean and the Pattern Jugglers destroying everything.


My Thoughts:

Cheery stories, eh? I’d read the first one in the book Beyond the Aquila Rift back in ’16. I couldn’t remember if that was the whole story or not. I enjoyed the story this time around too but my goodness, it was depressing. Not only the clones (all of them) megalomania but then the story ending with the other main character being drawn back by his own lust for knowledge. So good and evocative but I just groaned inside.

The second story was new to me so that made it quite fun to read. The ending wasn’t quite what I was expecting but considering Reynolds’ penchant for extinction events, once I thought about it it didn’t really surprise me. Reynolds is definitely a gloomy gus of a guy so don’t expect human exceptionalism to be part of the story. We don’t get to pull a rabbit out of our collective hat and save the day.

I really liked that Reynolds didn’t have 3 story plots going on that ever so slowly tied together. A good way to start the month out.



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23 thoughts on “Diamond Dogs, Turquoise Days (Revelation Space #5) ★★★★☆

    1. I hope you enjoy when you finally read it. Don’t wait too long, or it’ll take on mythic expectations in your mind that it simply can’t live up to 🙂


  1. I think this is the weakest of RS I’ve read. I thought the first story to just be a Cube rip off (Reynolds ripping off movies is something I’ve noticed multiple times in his non RS work), sprinkled with a bit of Hyperion. The second story I liked, but I don’t remember much more.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He directly, in book, honors both Cube and the book Rogue Moon, so that didn’t bother me. Honestly, I wish his longer stories were more like this. Less pointless drivelling blather and more tightly sculpted looks at humanity.

      I’ll keep an eye out once I start his non-RS stuff to see if I can pick out any influences.

      I didn’t care as much for the second story because it was more like his previous novels in tone.

      Sigh. The trials of being a reader 😀

      Liked by 1 person

        1. On the trip to the artifact he fills the passengers’ cold sleep with dreams directly from the Cube and Rogue Moon. He makes mention of them as old, old stories I believe.
          Not that Budry’s Rogue Moon is going to survive another 100 years…

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Thanks for clearing that up! I’m all of a sudden thinking I didn’t miss that. My memories about stuff I’m lukewarm about don’t seem to survive even a couple of years.

            Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep, if the rest of the month can not drop too far below this, I’ll be happy as a clam.
      (Now that I’ve written that, I have no idea where that saying came from. Who thinks clams are happy anyway?)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I enjoyed both of these stories when I read them, even though – as you pointed out – they are not exactly cheery… Still, there was an intriguing level of tension and foreboding in Diamond Dogs that made me fly through the pages… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The first one, most definitely. For me though, I’ve never found the written word “scary” so I have to have something defined as horror before I know it is horror. With a few exceptions of course 🙂


      1. LOL! I’m the type who will freak myself out if something is left up to my own imagination. Somehow visual horror isn’t as bad (even though I still don’t usually like it).

        Liked by 1 person

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