3.87 (4,425 ratings by Goodreads)
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'Compelling and innovative... Barry takes a story that has been done countless times before and makes it seem original' - Daily Mail

She is the ultimate weapon. She once served us. Now she's got her own plans.

Once we approached the aliens in peace... and they annihilated us. Now mankind has developed the ultimate killing machine, the Providence class of spaceship.

With the ships' frightening speed, frightening intelligence and frightening weaponry, it's now the salamanders' turn to be annihilated... in their millions.

The mismatched quartet of Talia, Gilly, Jolene and Anders are the crew on one of these destroyers. But with the ship's computers designed to outperform human decision-making in practically all areas, they are virtual bystanders. The Providence will take them to where the enemy are and she will dictate the strategy in any battle.

The crew's only job role is to publicise their glorious war to a sceptical Earth. Social media and video clips are THEIR weapons in an endless charm offensive. THEIR chief enemy is not the space reptiles but each other, and boredom.

But then everything changes. A message comes from base: the Providence is going into the Violet Zone, where there are no beacons and no communications with Earth. It is the heart of the enemy empire - and now the crew are left to wonder whether this is a mission of ultimate destruction or, more sinisterly, of ultimate self-destruction...

PROVIDENCE is a dazzling, inventive, and thought-provoking new novel from the author of Lexicon.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 320 pages
  • 158 x 236 x 32mm | 520g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1529352037
  • 9781529352030
  • 471,131

Review quote

Praise for Providence * : * Providence is such a blast you almost overlook how clever it is. Like Starship Troopers and 2001: A Sapce Odyssey, it's about the limit of human intelligence, the nature of humanity and the price we're prepared to pay for the survival of the species * Daily Mail * Providence is a light-hearted thriller with a superbly dark, existential sting in its tail * The Times * A quirky, character-driven commentary on the mechanisation of conflict and the sheer perversity of human nature * Financial Times * Compelling and innovative... Barry takes a story that has been done countless times before and makes it seem original * Daily Mail * [A] terrific sci-fi thriller * Publishers Weekly * PROVIDENCE is an absolute treat. Pulls the trick of being both irrepressibly old-school sci-fi and creepily relevant to the data-driven future * Austin Grossman, author of Soon I Will Be Invincible * An astonishing novel! PROVIDENCE is Philip K. Dick and William Gibson fueled by pure adrenaline (with a bit of Spielberg and Ridley Scott thrown in). The brilliant, unstoppable imagination of Max Barry glows on every page of this action-filled, yet emotionally resonant, tale. It will keep you riveted from first page till last. I read in one sitting and I guarantee you'll do the same * Jeffery Deaver, author of The Never Game * Action-packed and unsettling, PROVIDENCE is a sleekly-written parable about the absurdity of war--and the deeply human urge to destroy everything we don't understand, whether it comes from a distant planet or right here on Earth * Annalee Newitz, author of Autonomous and The Future of Another Timeline * I could not put PROVIDENCE down until I'd finished it in one thrilling sitting. This is science fiction at its best-a ship so believably alive and characters so determined, flawed, and compelling that you'll forget you're not also part of the crew * Peng Shepherd, author of The Book of M * PROVIDENCE'S greatest strength - apart from being terrifically entertaining - is its characters. (...) It's Barry's empathy for his characters, his willingness to dig deep into their foibles, that distinguishes PROVIDENCE from most of the golden-age science fiction that inspired it. * Locus * The meat of this is in its human interactions * SciFi Bulletin * Max Barry's excellent novel Providence * New Scientist * Providence is an extremely smart take on an entirely different genre ... page-turning anticipation which pays off beautifully in the final third * SFX * Providence is a meditation ... on the difference between programmed intelligence and the human version. Barry tells a fun and funny story that finds the perfect moments to break your heart in the best ways * Locus * Like Starship Troopers with added brain, this is such a blast you can overlook just how clever and thought-provoking it is * Daily Mail *
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About Max Barry

Max Barry is the author of four previous novels, including New York Times Notable Book Jennifer Government and Syrup, soon to be a major film. He is also the creator of the internet mini-phenomenon NationStates, an online political simulation game. He lives in Melbourne, Australia, with his wife and two daughters. He is a cat person.

Visit Max Barry's website at, find him at or follow him on
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Rating details

4,425 ratings
3.87 out of 5 stars
5 24% (1,051)
4 46% (2,042)
3 25% (1,089)
2 5% (207)
1 1% (36)
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