Its a different writing style from Ender. Much more wordy, philosophical, and less action packed. I did enjoy it, just don't expect to get a second serving of Ender's Game here.
I've read nearly all of what Peter F. Hamilton has to say, and he has to say quite a lot evidently. I find myself enjoying this book like I enjoy his other books. I enjoy one or two particular point of views in his plot lines within his many point of views and pretty much ignore the rest. When his writing is on it is a near magical experience. Like when Ozzy, is walking through the ice forest in his early books. I can picture that scene down to every detail and feel the bite of frost clinging to my skin. He printed a near out of body experience onto tapestry. On the other hand I find that when his writing is off, it is so over detailed and long winded that it will drain you from going any further. I have to actually stop, regroup another day, and listen again.
In the end I would always read another one of his novels. There is too much good here to miss out on, but if this is the first novel you've seen I'd recommend starting from Pandora's Star. Amazingly after the first two novels there are still characters kicking around in the Dreaming Void from his earlier Commonwealth books. Two books doesn't sound like a long time but that's 80 hours of narration and some 1200 years!
I really enjoyed this author and story, but I felt like the story went from stage to stage until the author decided he had to end it and then did so with a little too much haste. Not only that, but the ending circumstances seemed to be a bit more optimistic then what reality would permit.It loses its gritty and real feel for that reason.
On the other hand though I have to say that Heinlein's book seems as timeless as Asimov's. Despite being written in the 50s, the science fiction portions through a kind of vagueness maintain and hold up their portions of the reading.
This novel is unedited! It contains huge spans of garbage, opinion, or just ego buffing rambles on things he's read. If you read revelation space, and are looking for something similar this is not it. Take everything you didn't like about revelation space and make a whole book of that. That is what Peter F Hamilton has created for us.
I am very intrigued by this series, and the reader is very good. There are some problems though.
Each book in the series assumes the reader never read any of the preceding books. You often get descriptions of systems you already have had explained to you over, and over again. The sections dealing with his personal life is very interesting, but the continuing theme of hero worship puts a foreshadow on everything in the book. If he starts thinking about how he can't turn into Black Jack, that probably means he's going to stomp the Syndic fleet into a mud hole.
This book also has problems with the commander being too perfect. Its like the commander does everything you expect him to do. For this reason he doesn't have a human side to him, not really anyways. He's always minding his honor, and doing everything exactly the way it should be done. Its just not very realistic, and this is brought out by the irony that the main character keeps telling himself over and over he's not perfect. Even worse, when things do go wrong Black Jack can't be blamed for the failure. He's invincible and unfallable...
Now onto the good. The space battles are nicely done, if you've been loaded with a pretty good 3D graphics card from the womb they come out pretty handsomely. The fleet drama between the characters does wonders to make the plot very interesting and dynamic. You get to see them fail, and then disciplined which is gratifying for the reader. Anything involving Captain Falco is absolutely hilarious. This is only intensified because the reader makes him sound like quagmire from Family guy. I'm just waiting for a giggidy giggidy to be thrown in for good measure where I would lose control and risk a stroke.
Thats about it for night, i'll see the series through for sure. I just wish the author would of thought it out a little bit more. Some minor tweaks could have removed some of the more glaring inconsistencies.
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