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Peter Hamilton's first trilogy already displays the vivid descriptive writing and complex character development that are hallmarks of his later, more ambitious work. You won't find a better example of the mystery-meets-science-fiction hybrid, and every major character is post-human yet remains profoundly human at his or her core. Fascinating read, great suspense, satisfying resolution.
I'm a Hard SF & Space Opera-loving, alien android from the future. I bring gifts of SciFi eBooks & accessories for your leader's Kindle. Take me to him/her/it.
The key to my enjoying this PFH novel was to disassociate everything I’d previously read by the author in the Commonwealth Saga series. Here there are no alien threats or exotic stellar locations to explore. This story takes place in a far less optimistic, multi-point dystopian future where twin environmental and political disasters have stratified the class differences in society. The gritty tone is exemplified in the protagonist, psychic freelance mercenary Greg Mandel, a two-dimensional tough guy who uses the phrase “no messing” to end far too many sentences. The strength of this story is in the unraveling of a corporate mystery with turns and twists which explore most corners of Hamilton’s dark future. It’s a bit like watching a police procedural with psychic cops and some minor near-future SF tech peppered in. It compares quite similarly to Hamilton’s other, separate, story- Great Northern Road- which features a similar investigation but has the added element of off world alien settings and more examples of action scenes. Much of the crime and conspiracy here are strictly white-collar, and it was hard to identify with the Mandel character or even sympathize with him during the only truly high-stakes, dangerous moments he endures in the climactic ten percent of the story, no messing.
I have listened to and read most of Hamilton's works, and though I enjoyed this one a lot, it doesn't stack up to his later Novels. Hamilton's brilliance is in crafting expansive epics with a diverse cast of brilliant and intrepid characters. This novel, while imaginative, simply lacks the scope, scale, and depth that lend greatness to some of his later works. I am still sincerely hoping that an audio publisher decides to put his Night's Dawn trilogy on here eventually!
Finally, a Peter F. Hamilton audiobook that I can follow without taking copious notes.
I love a good, meaty sci-fi series, like Dune, Simmon's Hyperion, and got all the Peter F Hamilton Commonwealth series on audiobook, but honestly I didn't like them. They were too disjointed, and too many characters involved. One of his Commonwealth trilogies was like sitting down and reading about 5 separate _unrelated_ novels concurrently, and then 50 hours/1000 pages in, these seemingly unconnected stories would "sort of" link up. But by that time, you couldn't remember who they were at the beginning. So the second trilogy I listened to I started taking notes when I was listening (WTF?) on who each person was, which I'd update as I went along. It was better but too much work.
Peter F Hamilton trilogies are honestly the best books for showing the limitations of audiobooks. I wish that the actual audiobooks had a notes page, where you could click to read synopsis up to where you are, or even a character list. In an audiobook, you can't just like a paper book flip back looking for words/paragraphs.
But I digress. When I picked up the Greg Mandel ones and started listening, I was more than a bit surprised, and very happy with it. The cast of characters was manageable, and the characters really well rounded and felt real. It wasn't like a commonwealth series book were you'd be reading the story from some persons point of view, and wondering what it had to do with anything. It is great also to have a sci-fi crime novel, with a lot of conspiracy, action, and intrigue.
Toby Longworth does a real nice job of narration. He's probably one of the main reasons I've stuck with the series.
And on the series as a whole, I really enjoyed the feel of the universe. in short, a damaged earth, where it is rebuilding slowly, with some really good corporate people actually thinking of the world rather than themselves. You hear the constant doom and gloom on global warming, and this story I felt had a nice background non-apocalyptic vision of what the world could be like after.
If you come into this series after reading anything from the Commonwealth universe, you're going to be a bit surprised. The first book is just average, the story telling is a little rough at first and just not the same quality as his later books. Give it a chance though. Hamilton improves with every chapter he writes and matures as a writer over the series.
Peter F. Hamilton makes for an interesting sci-fi read and this book is no exception. On a side note a sci-fi book is exactly where a global warming story should be when the polar ice caps melt in no time.
I have not read the print version.
The extremely logical predictions about how technology and humans would integrate and the changes the global climate. Extremely believable and lovable characters. Phillip Evans just warms the heart. Loved the spikes of humor in the story as well
This was the first performance I have heard by Toby Longworth but I must say he has done a fantastic job ! It is not easy to emulate the throaty gruff voice of Mandel and the feminine voice of Julia Evans in a single conversation but Toby has done a wonderful job of it !
He has the best vocal range I have heard so far in any story teller.
Get ready to have your mind blown !
As is the case with other stories by Hamilton, there is detail about characters and small aspects of the story which is too much and the story would be more streamlined if all of this were to be removed. Too much scene description for example bogs it down if it is an action scene that is going on. But I guess it might be needed for world building. All in all this is the only problem I had with the story, otherwise it is fabulous !
Hamilton is a contemporary master of building future societies that make sense and contain amazing surprises. And then the stories he sets within them are great fun.