Peter Hamilton continues what has been a thoroughly engaging sci-fi novel. Plus he does what so few sci-fi writers can: actually wrap up the ends to thier stories. John Lee is perhaps my favorite narrator and so I've spent a couple months now looking forward to my daily commutes. Highly recommended to those who like thier sci-fi believable and intricate.
I never get the abridged version thinking that if I do I'm missing out on the author's intent, important color and details, or simply because I'm not getting my credits worth. I would make a big exception for this book. V. Hugo apparently didn't benefit from having an editor who would've marked out hours upon hours of needless, tedious prose on so many completely tangential topics. Not just a little bit; HOURS UPON HOURS. I dangerously advanced my IPOD in 10 minute increments while driving because I just couldn't take the insanely obscure and repetitive references (unless you lived in 19th Cent. France) or loosely associated and completely unimportant historical trivia. No kidding, 2 hours on the historical development of European and Paris sewer systems so that Jean Valjean could escape through it. To be fair, I didn't listen to the abridged version to compare, but I wish I had heeded the warnings of others to do so.
Also the narrator constantly made me think of the word "Supercilious" which was a distraction throughout.
I've given David Baldacci several chances but after this one I've given up. Baldacci writes the same mindlessly formulaic pablum of character series which sell but don't inspire. This one Baldacci must've phoned in while on vacation. Incredibly bland, improbable yet predictable plot. Characters as dimensional as a comic book. Terrible dialogue made laughable when actually said out loud. Oh, and by the way, whoever thought to make the occassional, stupid, distracting, sound effects should be sacked. Luckily I paid the bargain basement price for this dog and it took up only about a week of my commutes. I'd have really given a poor review if I'd paid a full credit for it.
An increasingly common apocalyptic scenario which is poorly played out in the sappy relationships and even worse philosophical meanderings of the cut-out characters. Stilted, unrealistic dialogue, irrelevant plot lines and incredibly unexplained events abound. Spoiler alert: How do robots on the moon ever build fusion bombs to send to earth with technology just a few years in our future, and nobody in the top echelons of government knew about it? I also found myself irritated with the narrator who either over enunciated or tried to mimic voices she heard on cheap sit-coms.
Why is it so many sci-fi writers can't come up with a good ending? It was such a good, engaging story, up until the author abruptly dumped me with no explanation about what happens to characters I'd come to care about. I'm not a reader who needs everything answered but this left me really disappointed. One could tell that he was starting to get tired of writing this when he started to leave major events dangling with no explanation and then changed his mind on a vampire solution that had been protected for all of the book and then provided no other one. Ok, is there a volume two that I'm missing?
Peter Hamilton weaves a great sci-fi novel with believable science and characters, including aliens. John Lee has established himself as my favorite narrator. I filled two entire months of commuting hardly noticing the traffic, maybe not the safest option, but that's what I use it for.
I suppose I should've expected this from a forward by Newt Gingrich but this book was still very disappointing. The premise of an EMP strike and it's potential effects as well as a description of survival in a post-apocalyptic society was what I was looking for. Instead I was subjected to about 1/5 science and 4/5 blatantly and clumsily pulled at religious, patriotic, sentimental heartstrings. The author couldn't seem to describe the world without using constant film analogy "It was like that movie..." Authentic characters and dialogue were especially lacking. My advice to any followers of the genre: skip it.
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