Nancy Kress made her reputation in the early 90s with her multiple award-winning novella, Beggars in Spain, which became the basis for her extremely successful Beggars Trilogy (Beggars in Spain, Beggars and Choosers, and Beggars Ride). Now she brings us Probability Space, the conclusion of the trilogy that began with Probability Moon and Probability Sun.
Centered on the same world as Kresss Nebula Award-winning novelette, Flowers of Aulit Prison, the Probability Trilogy has already been recognized as her next great work by critics and readers alike. In Probability Space, humanity is losing the war with the alien Fallers. As the action moves from Earth to Mars to the farthest reaches of known space, four humans - armed with little more than an unproven theory - try to enter the Fallers home star system. It's a desperate gamble, and the fate of the entire universe may hang in the balance.
Let me preface this by saying that, as a whole, the Probability Trilogy is worth reading. However, I was wholly unimpressed with this - the last installment of the series.
Probability Space seems sloppy and poorly put together compared to the two previous novels. A trend that Nancy Kress started in Probability Sun, regurgitating full text from the previous book as a way to cover the material for readers that have yet to read the previous story, is done her to distracting excess. Also, her attempt to create a completely secular society with little comprehension of human religion becomes annoying with her use of "My God", "Jesus Christ", etc.. as expletives.
Characters are introduced in this story that are made to seem integral to the plot but become nothing more than generic devices to move along a narrative far too quickly. There is a sub-plot involving something like a "rediscovering" of human religion that goes absolutely nowhere.
This story feels rushed and lifeless. I am not disappointed with the series as a whole but am disappointed that its conclusion was so poorly executed and the cliché Deus Ex Machina was so painfully obvious.