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Noumenon Ultra

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Deep in the heart of an alien mountain range, ICC. has lain dormant, its ships silent, for eons. Now, after one hundred thousand years, the AI is awakening. Someone is roaming the convoy's halls, someone that isn't human. This planet, Noumenon, created by the megastructure known as the Web, is too young and brutal to have evolved intelligent life. Its surface is bombarded b Deep in the heart of an alien mountain range, ICC. has lain dormant, its ships silent, for eons. Now, after one hundred thousand years, the AI is awakening. Someone is roaming the convoy's halls, someone that isn't human. This planet, Noumenon, created by the megastructure known as the Web, is too young and brutal to have evolved intelligent life. Its surface is bombarded by unusual meteors. Crystal trees abruptly and violently arise from its bedrock. Its solar system is surrounded by a frightening space-time anomaly. So where did these visitors come from? What do they want? And do the people of Earth, whose ancestors launched Convoy Seven, know they are here? ICC reaches out to the descendants of its convoy crew to help decipher this primordial riddle. Noumenon was created and seeded by ancient aliens, and clearly their plans for it are unfinished. Together, the AI, the new lifeforms who have awakened it, and the humans will embark on an epic adventure of discovery billions of years in the making.


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Deep in the heart of an alien mountain range, ICC. has lain dormant, its ships silent, for eons. Now, after one hundred thousand years, the AI is awakening. Someone is roaming the convoy's halls, someone that isn't human. This planet, Noumenon, created by the megastructure known as the Web, is too young and brutal to have evolved intelligent life. Its surface is bombarded b Deep in the heart of an alien mountain range, ICC. has lain dormant, its ships silent, for eons. Now, after one hundred thousand years, the AI is awakening. Someone is roaming the convoy's halls, someone that isn't human. This planet, Noumenon, created by the megastructure known as the Web, is too young and brutal to have evolved intelligent life. Its surface is bombarded by unusual meteors. Crystal trees abruptly and violently arise from its bedrock. Its solar system is surrounded by a frightening space-time anomaly. So where did these visitors come from? What do they want? And do the people of Earth, whose ancestors launched Convoy Seven, know they are here? ICC reaches out to the descendants of its convoy crew to help decipher this primordial riddle. Noumenon was created and seeded by ancient aliens, and clearly their plans for it are unfinished. Together, the AI, the new lifeforms who have awakened it, and the humans will embark on an epic adventure of discovery billions of years in the making.

30 review for Noumenon Ultra

  1. 4 out of 5

    Bradley

    From the first book in the series, we had generational starcraft in a convoy, learning to survive through tragedies and several huge discoveries. In the second book, we get a significant upgrade and a new mission to the stars, really laying out the foundation for inclusiveness among our own branches of humanity. The feeling gets significantly epic and quite interesting and it doesn't go quite the way the traditional space-operas. And then we're lead to this third book in the trilogy, really taking From the first book in the series, we had generational starcraft in a convoy, learning to survive through tragedies and several huge discoveries. In the second book, we get a significant upgrade and a new mission to the stars, really laying out the foundation for inclusiveness among our own branches of humanity. The feeling gets significantly epic and quite interesting and it doesn't go quite the way the traditional space-operas. And then we're lead to this third book in the trilogy, really taking Noumenon, the convoy, to new heights... but first we must get from A to B. And this is where the novel really shines. We cover a hundred thousand years of humanity ... and more. I'm getting this shiver and a flashback to some old-school Olaf Stapledon. So many steps are covered, including effective immortality, to let us follow our favorite characters. Including, I might add, a certain little environmental control unit. I give this five stars for future history and the commentary on inclusiveness. I give this three stars for a slightly faltering thread of conflict. If this was a straight history, I probably wouldn't even think twice about it, and compared to most modern space operas, it's positively refreshing by how it doesn't rely on standard tropes. But still, I did expect something a little more. The worldbuilding absolutely shone, however. I totally recommend this for people wanting a truly ambitious yarn.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Lindsay

    In the first book of the trilogy we had fleets of generation ships exploring the universe and discovering alien mega-structures. In the second book of the trilogy, the time span covered expanded by an order of magnitude, and the descendants of the Noumenon missions discover more mega-structures and the future of humanity itself. In this book, the time span covered expands by another order of magnitude and includes viewpoints from all over the discoveries of the previous books. As the storyline ski In the first book of the trilogy we had fleets of generation ships exploring the universe and discovering alien mega-structures. In the second book of the trilogy, the time span covered expanded by an order of magnitude, and the descendants of the Noumenon missions discover more mega-structures and the future of humanity itself. In this book, the time span covered expands by another order of magnitude and includes viewpoints from all over the discoveries of the previous books. As the storyline skips down the millennia the narrative rests with "immortals", made so by a variety of different mechanisms and each with amazingly different abilities and outlooks. As a construct this trilogy awes me. To carry a central theme (to know, to discover, to explore) across dozens of separate stories with characters as diverse as an eternal baby piloting a giant mecha, to an AI conceived from the very beginning of the series and a bio-mechanical agender crab with human grandparents ... it's such an enormous scope. Yes, some of the individual stories don't quite work, and there are many messy loose ends, but even so the through-line here is just so strong and compelling.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Justine

    A unique and solid ending for the millennia-spanning story that began with Noumenon and continued in Noumenon Infinity. Where things start give no idea as to where they eventually end. Like its predecessor novels, Noumenon Ultra takes us further and deeper, but steadies the reader with a continuity provided in part by "immortal" characters. The series is epic in scope, and keeps always to its central theme of exploration and the continuing struggle to know and comprehend the unknowable. A unique and solid ending for the millennia-spanning story that began with Noumenon and continued in Noumenon Infinity. Where things start give no idea as to where they eventually end. Like its predecessor novels, Noumenon Ultra takes us further and deeper, but steadies the reader with a continuity provided in part by "immortal" characters. The series is epic in scope, and keeps always to its central theme of exploration and the continuing struggle to know and comprehend the unknowable.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Karen’s Library

    If you’re looking for an epic hard sci-fi series that will make your brain hurt (in a good way), look no further. If you haven’t read Noumenon or Noumenon Infinity, you really need to read those first. If not, spoilers ahead. The author continues this book in the same format as the first two, interspersing POVs from both convoys 7 and 12 characters along with POVs from I.C.C. (the AI) and post-humans (technically convoy 7). Between the hardcore science and some gender pronouns, (the alien who iden If you’re looking for an epic hard sci-fi series that will make your brain hurt (in a good way), look no further. If you haven’t read Noumenon or Noumenon Infinity, you really need to read those first. If not, spoilers ahead. The author continues this book in the same format as the first two, interspersing POVs from both convoys 7 and 12 characters along with POVs from I.C.C. (the AI) and post-humans (technically convoy 7). Between the hardcore science and some gender pronouns, (the alien who identified as a she becomes a she/they) my mind exploded a few times. In this book, it felt like the author would have wild dreams and wake up and decide to use whatever she found within her dream to add another new CRAZY element into her storyline. What a wild ride Lostetter gave us. To be honest, I did get lost a few times with the science and distinguishing betweeen some of the characters (especially the chapter where two they/them post humans were speaking to each other and no names were used). I did like how she ended this series. Now I’m curious as to what happens next to the immortals and what they find. The time span of this book is eons and eons. 80,000 years goes by in just a few chapters. That’s just so mind boggling to me. All in all, this series was an extremely interesting premise with exceptional world building and I honestly couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. *Thank you so much to NetGalley and Harper Voyager for the advance copy!*

  5. 4 out of 5

    Joe Crowe

    Welp. This one blew my mind. You're going to need to read the first two in this series, but that's a feature, not a bug -- there is so much in-depth science fictional work going on here that you will need the first two fresh in your brain before attempting to wrap your head around this one. Again, some stories don't blow your mind or even attempt to perform cranial combustion to any extent, but here we are. Author Marina J. Lostetter goes for it, and you will love it.

  6. 4 out of 5

    OpenBookSociety.com

    https://openbooksociety.com/article/n... Noumenon Ultra Noumenon, Book #3 By Marina J. Lostetter ISBN # 9780062895721 Author’s Website: lostetter.net Brought to you by OBS reviewer Omar Summary The mind-expanding journey that began with Noumenon and Noumenon Infinity continues in this wondrous mosaic tale of deep space exploration, adventure, and humanity that blends the awe, science, and speculative imagination of Arthur C. Clarke, Neal Stephenson, and Octavia Butler. Deep in the heart of an alien moun https://openbooksociety.com/article/n... Noumenon Ultra Noumenon, Book #3 By Marina J. Lostetter ISBN # 9780062895721 Author’s Website: lostetter.net Brought to you by OBS reviewer Omar Summary The mind-expanding journey that began with Noumenon and Noumenon Infinity continues in this wondrous mosaic tale of deep space exploration, adventure, and humanity that blends the awe, science, and speculative imagination of Arthur C. Clarke, Neal Stephenson, and Octavia Butler. Deep in the heart of an alien mountain range, I.C.C. has lain dormant, its ships silent, for eons. Now, after one hundred thousand years, the AI is awakening. Someone is roaming the convoy’s halls–someone that isn’t human. This planet, Noumenon–created by the megastructure known as the Web–is too young and brutal to have evolved intelligent life. Its surface is bombarded by unusual meteors. Crystal trees abruptly and violently arise from its bedrock. Its solar system is surrounded by a frightening space-time anomaly. So where did these visitors come from? What do they want? And do the people of Earth, whose ancestors launched Convoy Seven, know they are here? I.C.C. reaches out to the descendants of its convoy crew to help decipher this primordial riddle. Noumenon was created and seeded by ancient aliens, and clearly their plans for it are unfinished. Together, the AI, the new lifeforms who have awakened it, and the humans will embark on an epic adventure of discovery billions of years in the making. Review The mission that started more than a hundred thousand years ago in the first installment of the Noumenon series, comes to an end with Noumenon Ultra. After the events in Noumenon Infinity that explained the forward time travel of the Convoy Twelve and meeting the new evolved humans, a small group of humans travel to the new planet Noumenon that was created by the first Megastructure completed. There in Noumenon are the remnants of the Noumenon Convoy that helped humans complete the megastructures many years ago, and now is the home of I.C.C. the A.I. that kept all the humans safe through their travels. During the thousands of years that passed since the first megastructure was activated and I.C.C. was set to rest on the planet Noumenon, the new humans, homo-draconem and homo-kubernetes, have activated many more of them. But during some of that time, creatures started to populate Noumenon and awoken I.C.C. again. The small convoy with Dr. Vanhi Kapoor, the Tan family, and Jamal Kaeden the Progentor and some of his followers arrive at the planet at the same time as a new Megastructure is activated and everything stops working. The universe is broken. Now a new story awaits everyone as they try to understand what is happening in the universe. Are the megastructures evil as some predicted? Why are some planets shielded away and unable to communicate with? And who are the mysterious creatures in Noumenon interaction with I.C.C.? I love the Noumenon series, the story and the concept were a joy to read and I liked to continue the adventures of its characters across time. Like the previous books, not all the characters make it to the end as time passes by very fast and normal human lives are short and bright. I did like the characters. We meet Vanhi, Jamal and Hope Tan again and new evolved humans with great names. I liked how the storylines move around these characters and tie the loose ends, yet it showed us that to be an immortal it is a gift and curse at the same time. Iron Orchid A.K.A the scent of moth orchids followed by the sensation of lightly rusted iron under calloused fingertips. Sunlight Hammer A.K.A. the warmth of Earth sunlight on a humid day in a heavy swamp accompanied by the percussion of a hammer hitting slate. We finally understand the meaning of the Megastructures in space and who created them. The mystery of the universe and what may be the vast corners of it, most of all, I liked that this book shows that even greater intelligence can make mistakes, big mistakes. If you are a new reader to this series, I recommend reading the previous installments, it would make it easier to understand why things are happening. For an outsider, the story might look long and difficult to follow, but if you give it a chance it becomes a great experience that touches on points of human society and emotions. If you like this genre, I recommend you stick with it until the end. It was great. One of the main reasons that I liked this series was that it gave me the ability to experience this possible future. To read and imagine a possible future for us humans such as to travel across the stars, see how far we can evolve and fall, and make contact with other beings in the universe. Human life is short, it might look long to us, but compared to the progress and change on a planet, it’s a blink of an eye. But at least with this story, I can experience a possibility of the future in the lifetime that I have. I really like space opera stories, and Noumenon Ultra did not disappoint me. If you are a fan of Marina J. Lostetter or their work, then I recommend the Noumenon series. A simple reconnaissance mission of a strange artifact in a faraway planet turns into an invitation for an adventure to understand the universe and its inhabitants that expand across the millennia. *OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review*

  7. 4 out of 5

    Raj

    You certainly can't accuse Noumenon Ultra of lacking ambition. Picking up where the last book left off, about a hundred thousand years in the future, it accelerates from there, going ever-further into an unknowably-distant future. We start with the AI, ICC, that has held the Noumenon convoy together for so long waking up from hibernation to find itself about a hundred thousand years in our future, and although its humans have long vacated its ships, there is life within it once more. It eventual You certainly can't accuse Noumenon Ultra of lacking ambition. Picking up where the last book left off, about a hundred thousand years in the future, it accelerates from there, going ever-further into an unknowably-distant future. We start with the AI, ICC, that has held the Noumenon convoy together for so long waking up from hibernation to find itself about a hundred thousand years in our future, and although its humans have long vacated its ships, there is life within it once more. It eventually learns to communicate with the sentient life of the terraformed world that now bears the name of its convoy and later regains contact with the descendants of its crew, and they all have to work together to solve a problem that could threaten the future of the entire universe. There's a lot to enjoy in this book. We pick up characters from Convoy Twelve from the second book, as well as further clones of the crew of Convoy Seven and spend time with the post-humans that most of humanity, other than the remnants of homo sapiens from Convoy Twelve, has now evolved into. We don't spend as much time as I would have liked with the post-humans, or see more than a glimpse of the way that they interact with their ancestors, but life in the galaxy at large is only tangential to the story being told here. I enjoyed this book, but I felt it was missing a spark that both the other two books had. While the first one jumped in time quite a lot, there was conflict and drama in each segment. The second one had the parts of the book that followed Convoy Twelve to ground it. While this book had the time jumps from the first and some of the characters from the second, there was little conflict. Everyone was working together for a larger goal, without any great deviation from that or misunderstandings or disagreements on the nature of the work. In my review of the previous book I complained that there was no closure on the alien megastructures that the convoys had encountered. Hoo-boy is that resolved here. And in an incredibly mind-blowing payoff as well. So while it has a lot of that sensawunda that we often talk about in SF, it's lacking in the characterisation to truly make it great.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jess

    Thanks to Harper Voyager and Edelweiss for the ARC. I put this book down feeling quite moved, and certainly like it was a well-rounded, emotionally satisfying conclusion to the Noumenon trilogy. However, at times it was a bit of a struggle (on my part) to get there – this is a book which is very ambitious in scope, and really builds on all that has come before. In the case of the Noumenon series, of course, "all that has come before" covers hundreds of thousands of years. It takes until about a q Thanks to Harper Voyager and Edelweiss for the ARC. I put this book down feeling quite moved, and certainly like it was a well-rounded, emotionally satisfying conclusion to the Noumenon trilogy. However, at times it was a bit of a struggle (on my part) to get there – this is a book which is very ambitious in scope, and really builds on all that has come before. In the case of the Noumenon series, of course, "all that has come before" covers hundreds of thousands of years. It takes until about a quarter of the way through before there’s any interaction between sentient beings – and perhaps in the current climate, that was harder to handle than usual. There's also a lot of exposition - the world building is so dense, and it's of such high quality, but I sometimes felt like I needed more of an emotional connection. That said, these issues are there for a reason – it’s because the reading process sometimes pushed me that I felt so gratified at the end. Certainly by the half-way point, I was awestruck by this book – I’m keen both to re-read the whole trilogy once I’m in a better headspace, and to see what Marina J. Lostetter creates next.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Alexander Tas

    Read this and other science fiction/fantasy reviews at The Quill To Live And so here we are, at the end and the beginning of a journey started a few years ago with Noumenon. Now, I had reviewed a few books prior to reading that delightful novel, but Noumenon may have been the book that really sold me on continuing to read and review new books. It is a special book in my heart, and my affection for the series only grew with Noumenon Infinity. Marina J. Lostetter seemed to have a special touch for Read this and other science fiction/fantasy reviews at The Quill To Live And so here we are, at the end and the beginning of a journey started a few years ago with Noumenon. Now, I had reviewed a few books prior to reading that delightful novel, but Noumenon may have been the book that really sold me on continuing to read and review new books. It is a special book in my heart, and my affection for the series only grew with Noumenon Infinity. Marina J. Lostetter seemed to have a special touch for writing humanity into the big question of “why are we here?” While she never provides an answer, her ability to explore the question through vignettes over centuries and millennia is astounding. If you’re wondering, does the third book encapsulate the things I mentioned in my previous adulations of Lostetter’s work? Of course it does, and it does so much more, making me reflect on why they feel even more important in the world of today. Noumenon Ultra is a near perfect capstone to the trilogy, offering deeper and more personal ruminations on our place in the universe with the perfect blend of scientific anomalies and personal struggles with them. Ultra starts where Infinity leaves off, which, as readers of the series know, means absolutely nothing. I don’t want to get into too much detail, as it would inevitably spoil the other books, but needless to say humanity in all its forms are spread across the stars in search of ancient super structures and unlocking their secrets. After the considered “success” of the original Noumenon mission, there are still questions about the nature of the machines that are being found, constructed and activated by human hands. Characters from previous novels make their return along with new ones, with ever more distinct lives and even more questions. First off, I absolutely adored this book. Second, there is one thing readers might be turned off by, but if you’ve liked the books to this point, it will be a non-issue. This is a slow burn meditation on what it means to be sentient without purpose in the universe. Lostetter’s prose sometimes feels like it meanders, following the thought patterns of the character as they tell their story. It’s easy to get lost in, and it might be off putting to those who are looking for something a little more concise. But again, I think this is true of all her work and fits nicely with the themes she explores. It also never gets overly bogged down; the story is broken into nicely sized vignettes that can be read on their own or in succession. So now those are out of the way, I feel I can gush a little more. One of the things I praised previously about Lostetter was her ability to write characters and imbue them with significance even though they usually only exist for a chapter. I feel she has only gotten better at this, as each character still feels distinct, with their own issues, but they all feel even more tied together. There is a prevailing sense of loneliness in each character that once you see it, it’s impossible not to notice. Every one of them has their unique problem from the child who physically ages exponentially slower than they do mentally, to the clone of a long dead man who lives life back and forth over and over again never dying, while losing his memories of previous lives. This loneliness, while all-encompassing, never felt insurmountable. This is where Lostetter succeeds in her storytelling. While the big things in the background are shifting into place, these unknown scientific marvels being pieced back together for unknown purposes, these people are living their absurd lives, finding out who they are, and coping together. What continues to perplex me about Lostetter is while she can do the smaller stories, she is also a master of mind bending scale. The size and scope of the artifacts she writes about is nearly unfathomable. The effort that the characters put into understanding and reconstructing these ancient behemoths is ludicrous. Smartly, she doesn’t spend too much time on the details of the construction process, instead focusing on their import to the character’s lives. Lostetter also takes the chance to explore design philosophy and scientific concepts with these artifact sections, providing insights to our world while presenting problems to her characters. There might be some dissonance with some of the examples, however, as they seem a little too on the nose, but it didn’t bother me too much. There is a reasonable in-universe explanation for the seemingly anachronistic analogies. Either way, Lostetter made me think about these concepts in new ways in and outside the book. On its own, Noumenon Ultra stands tall, but it does require the shoulders of its predecessors. If you haven’t picked up Noumenon and you’re looking for a fresh and exciting dive into time- and universe-spanning science fiction, I highly recommend this series. Noumenon Ultra serves as a fantastic finish, pushing the boundaries of the previous novels, while adding new insight without overshadowing them. Lostetter shows a lot of growth book to book, digging deeper and finding more empathetic and meaningful ways to engage with science than previously explored. Lostetter feels more determined than ever to explore the connections between humanity and science, exploring the benefits as well as the consequences. There is so much more I could say about this series, especially Ultra. However, if there is one word that sums up this series, it’s human. Lostetter wonderfully captures the human experience in all its absurdities, trivialities, and grandiosity, never forgetting the importance of an individual’s ability to affect the universe at large. Rating: Noumenon Ultra – 9.0/10 -Alex

  10. 4 out of 5

    Anneke

    Book Review: Noumenon Ultra Author: Marina J. Lostetter Publisher: HarperCollins Publisher/Harper Voyager Publication Date: August 18, 2020 Review Date: July 16, 2020 I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. From the blurb: The mind-expanding journey that began with Noumenon and Noumenon Infinity continues in this wondrous mosaic tale of deep space exploration, adventure, and humanity that blends the awe, science, and speculative imagination of Arthur C. Cla Book Review: Noumenon Ultra Author: Marina J. Lostetter Publisher: HarperCollins Publisher/Harper Voyager Publication Date: August 18, 2020 Review Date: July 16, 2020 I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. From the blurb: The mind-expanding journey that began with Noumenon and Noumenon Infinity continues in this wondrous mosaic tale of deep space exploration, adventure, and humanity that blends the awe, science, and speculative imagination of Arthur C. Clarke, Neal Stephenson, and Octavia Butler. Deep in the heart of an alien mountain range, I.C.C. has lain dormant, its ships silent, for eons. Now, after one hundred thousand years, the AI is awakening. Someone is roaming the convoy's halls—someone that isn't human. This planet, Noumenon—created by the megastructure known as the Web—is too young and brutal to have evolved intelligent life. Its surface is bombarded by unusual meteors. Crystal trees abruptly and violently arise from its bedrock. Its solar system is surrounded by a frightening space-time anomaly. So where did these visitors come from? What do they want? And do the people of Earth, whose ancestors launched Convoy Seven, know they are here?  I.C.C. reaches out to the descendants of its convoy crew to help decipher this primordial riddle. Noumenon was created and seeded by ancient aliens, and clearly their plans for it are unfinished. Together, the AI, the new lifeforms who have awakened it, and the humans will embark on an epic adventure of discovery billions of years in the making.  Wow! This is absolutely phenomenal science fiction. Before I started Ultra, I went back and read books 1 and 2 of the trilogy first. It’s now July 16th, and I’ve been reading this series since June 28th! These are long books. But well worth the time and effort. I say effort, because this is not light, easy reading. The author has created so many different, strange worlds and beings that are outside the realm of the usual space opera. Very interesting concepts. I have enjoyed every bit of it. This is up there with the best of sci fi. Like Dan Simmons’ Hyperion Cantos. Like Ken Liu’s worlds. The author has taken the same characters through the three books, showing their evolution over millennia. And the most important character, I.C.C., the inter-convoy computer AI that runs the convoy and is involved with all the characters over the centuries that move through space. The settings are mind-boggling; the creativity overall is exceptional. If you love science fiction this is a must read. And I strongly encourage you to read the whole trilogy because honestly I think you’d be lost if you didn’t. Part of the challenge of this book and this series is the back and forth in time, and the changes that take place. This series spans over 100,000 years!! So many interesting, fascinating things about this book and series, really, just dive in and get lost in it. Thank you to HarperCollins for allowing me early access to this book, and for introducing me to this exceptional author. And best of luck to Marina Lostetter. I see that she has a number of other books, and I can’t wait to read them as well. This review will be posted on NetGalley, Goodreads and Amazon. #netgalley #harpercollins #noumenon #marinlostetter #sciencefiction

  11. 4 out of 5

    Steve Gold

    Tremendous. Every time Lostetter has put out a Noumenon sequel, I wonder how she can follow the last. Somehow, the last in the trilogy is as mind-warping as the first two books (if not more so), and keeps the deep-time storytelling going without feeling like a repeat. I admire Lostetter’s craft so much. She juggles a huge cast, over a vast period of time, with many scientific concepts and story details all entangled. Her judgment about what to include and what to omit and leave to the imaginatio Tremendous. Every time Lostetter has put out a Noumenon sequel, I wonder how she can follow the last. Somehow, the last in the trilogy is as mind-warping as the first two books (if not more so), and keeps the deep-time storytelling going without feeling like a repeat. I admire Lostetter’s craft so much. She juggles a huge cast, over a vast period of time, with many scientific concepts and story details all entangled. Her judgment about what to include and what to omit and leave to the imagination, and how to step from one chapter to the next, is extraordinary. I never felt lost. When scientific terms went over my head, the intent and implications were always clear. It’s so good. With the first book, I was skeptical about moving to a new point of view with each chapter. This time I trusted Lostetter to do her thing. Introducing a character, giving them a compelling story, and providing some sort of resolution within one chapter probably shouldn’t work, but it does in this series. Each chapter has heart, shrewd insight into human nature, and at least one bananas idea that both surprises and makes you eager for what’s coming next. And it all fits together into a whole. In the hands of a less capable writer, Ultra’s story could have easily been a 1,500-page brick. Instead it feels huge in scope, but also tight and controlled. It’s full of small, intimate, human moments while the overall plot races forward. And it always feels like the focus is exactly where it needs to be, moment to moment. Sometimes a series loses its footing and I quit before the end. I think anyone who came back for Infinity and had a good time will find this conclusion rewarding.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Victoria

    I have been there since day one when the first Noumenon book was announced on Goodreads. I remember reading the summary and seeing reviews linking it to Seveneves by Neal Stephenson and I was immediately sold. Noumenon sucked me into an exciting adventure and I found myself treasuring it and shoving it into everyone’s face and screaming “READ THIS NOW”. Looking back, I cant believe all the events that have unfolded since the infamous “big dumb object” was first discussed and the life changing mis I have been there since day one when the first Noumenon book was announced on Goodreads. I remember reading the summary and seeing reviews linking it to Seveneves by Neal Stephenson and I was immediately sold. Noumenon sucked me into an exciting adventure and I found myself treasuring it and shoving it into everyone’s face and screaming “READ THIS NOW”. Looking back, I cant believe all the events that have unfolded since the infamous “big dumb object” was first discussed and the life changing mission planned. When I.C.C was first put into the ship system. When the first “original” batch of clones boarded and started the journey. All the modifications and lives gone by in just one trilogy. All the different species and friendships. A wacky space religion. New discoveries and all the feels. So so many feels. Its really hard to come to terms with Ultra being the last in this AMAZING series and I am kind of depressed but at the same time, also appreciative that I got to enjoy such amazing writing. Marina Lostetter is an author that I will now anticipate new works from and immediately read no matter what the subject is. *hopefully space sharks or ocean vampires*. No, wait…..Anne Rice tackled ocean vampires. LOL Read this series immediately if you haven’t already. Generational space ships manned by clones and artificial intelligence. How humans make themselves into jelly monsters to better live in space. What it’s like to live as an original human among all the modified humans with cool abilities. Immortals with existence issues. I could go on but long reviews are boring and rarely read. Thank you Edelweiss for the early review copy.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Wendy

    ICC, a lone AI originally constructed by Earth humans, awakens after eons to find beings wandering its halls. As ICC slowly comes back to full power it tries to figure out where the beings came from. The world it sits on is still too young to have intelligent life of it's own. Which leaves the questions of who these creatures are and how did they get there. And do the humans know they are there? While this is the third book of this series, and I hadn't read the first two, I was still able to fol ICC, a lone AI originally constructed by Earth humans, awakens after eons to find beings wandering its halls. As ICC slowly comes back to full power it tries to figure out where the beings came from. The world it sits on is still too young to have intelligent life of it's own. Which leaves the questions of who these creatures are and how did they get there. And do the humans know they are there? While this is the third book of this series, and I hadn't read the first two, I was still able to follow the story. And what a story it is! If you enjoy science fiction and elaborate world building this book is for you. I do suggest reading the first two books. While I wasn't completely lost there were a few gaps. I was so impressed by the way this book is written and was so into the story that I didn't care. I will be hunting down the first two books so I can get the full experience!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Noah King

    I really did enjoy this final installment of the Noumenon trilogy very much, even though it took me forever to get through it. Lostetter really delves into her characters and their motivations, and there are often long sections that don't push the story forward so much as help you to understand them more deeply. I appreciate that in an author, but like I said, it slowed me down. As for the story itself, I loved how she chose to tell it by jumping among different point of view characters, over a V I really did enjoy this final installment of the Noumenon trilogy very much, even though it took me forever to get through it. Lostetter really delves into her characters and their motivations, and there are often long sections that don't push the story forward so much as help you to understand them more deeply. I appreciate that in an author, but like I said, it slowed me down. As for the story itself, I loved how she chose to tell it by jumping among different point of view characters, over a VERY long period of time. The conclusion of the story and the solution to the mystery were satisfying, but, like always, I wish the main characters had solved that problem earlier so there would have been more room to see what they jumped into next.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jess

    Unfortunately, this one just didn’t do it for me like the other 2... It was very slow, unnecessarily long considering the little action that takes place and didn’t have the same wow factor, possibly because it was so far in the future it just wasn’t that relatable anymore? One of my main gripes was I absolutely could not visualise Icelandic or any of the other Noumenonians(?) I also couldn’t get my head around the Hope Tan storyline. Anyone who has ever had a newborn will know why that whole thin Unfortunately, this one just didn’t do it for me like the other 2... It was very slow, unnecessarily long considering the little action that takes place and didn’t have the same wow factor, possibly because it was so far in the future it just wasn’t that relatable anymore? One of my main gripes was I absolutely could not visualise Icelandic or any of the other Noumenonians(?) I also couldn’t get my head around the Hope Tan storyline. Anyone who has ever had a newborn will know why that whole thing is ridiculous! I felt like there was a lot of clutter and trying-to-be-deep moments that I kept skipping... Saying all that, I thought the ending was pretty good.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Michael Howley

    This book caps a trilogy that spans over 100,000 years yet somehow manages to be largely character-driven. To be sure, various cosmological happenings keep the plot moving along quite nicely. It's the earned right of this series for so carefully guiding its characters and civilizations along in ways that make you care about them in each moment. But even as the greater universe begins to overtake the single generation snapshots in this book, I still found myself invested in each vignette being pl This book caps a trilogy that spans over 100,000 years yet somehow manages to be largely character-driven. To be sure, various cosmological happenings keep the plot moving along quite nicely. It's the earned right of this series for so carefully guiding its characters and civilizations along in ways that make you care about them in each moment. But even as the greater universe begins to overtake the single generation snapshots in this book, I still found myself invested in each vignette being played out. This strikes me as a towering achievement for a book that's ultimately about a machine the size of the galaxy. What a wonderful way to end a phenomenal journey.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Andy Parkes

    It's a taken a few days for this one to sink in! It's what I'd call a "proper sci-fi" Not easy to consider the scale of a story that's set across hundreds of thousands of years and uses megastructures that are bigger than stars as a plot device. Really well written and focuses on the right characters at the right time while still keeping the plot ticking along nicely. Never felt too fast or two slow. Honestly wasn't where I thought it was going at the end of the first book but nice to see someth It's a taken a few days for this one to sink in! It's what I'd call a "proper sci-fi" Not easy to consider the scale of a story that's set across hundreds of thousands of years and uses megastructures that are bigger than stars as a plot device. Really well written and focuses on the right characters at the right time while still keeping the plot ticking along nicely. Never felt too fast or two slow. Honestly wasn't where I thought it was going at the end of the first book but nice to see something through that tries to do something original and succeeds

  18. 4 out of 5

    Lydia

    I read this book from an ARC. I had not read the previous two books in the series. If I had, I might have enjoyed this more. The book is slow-moving and tedious, the exposition is dry, and I am not given any reason to care about the characters. Maybe if I had two previous books' worth of worldbuilding and backstory, but reading this out of sequence means I just don't care.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Terry Masson

    A beautiful, moving epic Many authors bring us a future history we dream of and hope for, and Marina J. Lostetter is certainly one of the best. Thank you so much, from the non binary representation, to the beautiful moments at the end and the words of Ursula. Truly magnificent.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Angie Jenkins

    This book was overall a masterpiece & lovely addition to the prior novels. The world building was a bit dense, and it’s definitely not one I would recommend for Sci Fi beginners.. but overall, very well done. This book was overall a masterpiece & lovely addition to the prior novels. The world building was a bit dense, and it’s definitely not one I would recommend for Sci Fi beginners.. but overall, very well done.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Nancy Shaffer

    Unsatisfying and hard to follow conclusion to the trilogy. And honestly, with a title like it has, I wanted to read more about how the Noumenon Ultra ship got to be the way it became in the second book.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Francisco Ebeling

    This is a major literal achievement.

  23. 4 out of 5

    sillypunk

    There were so many interesting ideas in this series and even in just this novel: https://blogendorff.com/2020/10/08/bo... There were so many interesting ideas in this series and even in just this novel: https://blogendorff.com/2020/10/08/bo...

  24. 4 out of 5

    Shona

    Mind-blowing. There isn't an easy way to review this book and series; but very, very satisfying.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Denise

  26. 4 out of 5

    Laura

  27. 4 out of 5

    Flockhart

  28. 5 out of 5

    David

  29. 5 out of 5

    Inna

  30. 5 out of 5

    Seán Antóin O'Callaghan

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