Like most Reynolds novels, Terminal World is not what you think it is, nor does it go where you think it will. These two facts make Terminal World one of Reynolds most enjoyable stand alone novels. Its one fatal flaw is the end, which more or less simply stops rather than ends. While it is possible that Reynolds was setting up for a sequel (which I would gladly read, Terminal World raises many interesting questions about the world it portrays that I would like answered), but the ending as it is leaves the reader wishing for more.
Following the story of an exiled “Angel”, in a city built on a structure so tall that pierces the atmosphere, the action quickly moves to the world outside the remarkable tower. Along the way Quillon meets with horrors, heroes and strange people only Reynolds could create. Large amounts of the novel are given over to info dumps, but these are welcomed and fit nicely within the narrative. The action is thrilling, the characters interesting and the world magnificent.
Reynolds melds far future science fiction with literature of the weird with aplomb and skill. While this novel didn’t strike me with as much force and sense of wonder as his other standalone novel Pushing Ice, Terminal World is a wonderful diversion and well worth the time needed to read. All I can say is that I want a sequel or at least some thing that answers the questions about the history of the world he created.