Review: Resonance (Ragnarok Vol 3) / Author: John Meaney / Publisher: Gollancz / Release Date: Out Now
The final instalment of the Ragnarok trilogy, Resonance sees the conclusion to the titanic conflict previous books have been building towards. Scattered throughout history, individuals from feudal, industrial and future ages singled out for their specialities are preparing for war, to combat darkness only they can see and the threat lurking in the universe’s core. With an invasion waiting in the wings, humanity and the Ragnarok Council may well be all that stands in its path…
Featuring a narrative scattered throughout time and space and a threat set on a truly monumental scale, Resonance is a book driven by big ambitions. Meaney has penned a story that aims to be epic beyond even the level of Dune or similarly famed series. Furthermore, the amount of research that has gone into the book adds a surprising degree of credibility to certain events.
Unfortunately, while the book manages to keep its multitude of timelines and plot threads coherent, the writing disappoints in several regards. The big ideas on display work well and are what carry the book, but the human element is somewhat lacking. The prose is thin and overly given to telling rather than showing, even in the climactic set-pieces, which as a result simply don’t have the punch which they deserve after all the build-up. Consequently some sections prove to be surprisingly dull and remote despite the obvious weight of events behind them.
At the end of the day Resonance is a good read and a decent conclusion to the trilogy, but like the prior two books its main drive is its ideas. You will likely enjoy the subjects discussed and the ideas brought up more than what the novel does to explore them or the characters in question. Buy it if you’re a fan of stories on a massive scale such as Iain M. Banks' Culture series or the aforementioned Dune, but otherwise approach with some caution.