In the distant future, corporations have become sustainable communities with their own militaries, and corporate goals have essentially replaced political ideology. On a youthful, rebellious impulse, Lawrence joined the military of a corporation that he now recognizes to be ruthless and exploitative. His only hope for escape is to earn enough money to buy his place in a better corporation. When his platoon is sent to a distant colony to quell a local resistance effort, it seems like a stroke of amazing fortune, and Lawrence plans to rob the colony of their fabled gemstone, the Fallen Dragon, to get the money he needs. However, he soon discovers that the Fallen Dragon is not a gemstone at all but an alien life form that the local colonists have been protecting since it crashed in their area. Now Lawrence has to decide if he will steal the alien to exploit the use of its inherent biotechnical processes - which far exceed anything humans are capable of - or if he will help the Resistance get the alien home.
©2002 Peter F. Hamilton (P)2016 Tantor
"A fascinating, compulsively readable clash of hardware and ideals." (Kirkus)
I loved his commonwealth series, and I love John Lee's narration. This book is a different universe, but still it was quite good. Hamilton and Lee knock it out of the park yet again.
There is one thing about Peter F Hamilton and John Lee though that bugs me and makes me have to pay more attention to the words and less to my imagination, and that is the shifts between scenes. It can be hard to realize when the narration has gone to another character, or even another time. Lee can be talking for a minute before I realize we are in a different scene. It may be the editor, or the book, or the narrator, but it is a definite issue that plagues most of the books Hamilton and Lee do.
Other than that, the technology is easily imagined, along with great characters and detailed scenery.
Fallen Dragon is a stand-alone Peter F Hamilton novel that relates a universe where space colonization is economically non-viable. The corporations that funded the initial efforts periodically conduct "asset realization" escapades which is a "nice" way of saying looting and plundering. The main plot concerns one such adventure where one mercenary plans for some extracurricular activity while a nascent rebel movement has been preparing to resist the invaders. At the same time, the mercenary's backstory unfolds to provides context for his actions as well as detailing the various societal evolutions of different humans that sometimes border on the alien.
The sci-fi elements are an interesting mix of military space weaponry and alien biota which complicates the establishment of human colonies. At the same time, Hamilton introduces truly alien life forms that almost defy engagement or interactions with humanity. Hamilton is exploring potential societal evolution that begins to glimpse the possible likely range of life and intelligence across the galaxy. If planetary colonization were economically unworkable as described, then the divergence of humanity would likely be a consequence.
John Lee delivers another superb narration especially given the range of characters as well as alien and post-human forms that are encountered. With the overlapping timelines, some close attention is required to correctly place events.
Great book with great Sci-Fi concepts. The story is quite slow to start with and I found that sometimes the viewpoint changed a bit too frequently with plot points being wrapped up quickly and without much explanation. This caused me to be a bit confused early on but I got the hang of it.
The Sci-Fi concepts are top notch, good for pondering post read. My favorite types of Sci-Fi are the ones that keep me thinking long after I've finished reading and Fallen Dragon definitely hit the mark. I found it to be a refreshing take on Sci-Fi with more of a grim, realist adaptation of regular tropes.
The story seemed much longer than necessary and did not benefit from much of the gratuitous detail.
Somewhat unique among Hamilton's books in that this one seems to be completed in one volume but very satisfying nonetheless. John Lee excellent as always.
I really enjoyed this book. Having served in Iraq, the irony of the ethically justified "Asset Realization" really struck a chord. Hamilton creates a fascinating social scenario by developing the moral arguments that logically make sense, but produce a twisted reality. About 3/4 through the book, I thought there was way to much to work out, and that this must be the first book in a series. But the book rapidly wraps up in a dramatic crescendo that is very satisfying.
Lawrence Newton's journey is wrapped up in such an incredible storyline- this book made me think that knowledge is indeed power and meant to be shared to all . I always love and relish the idea of space exploration and alien life forms. Although there were some scenes that is questionable like what happened to one "squaddie" who was kidnapped and snuffed off of his blood.i cant seem to follow that storyline and where it went. Anyway, I love the book's fascinating story. I maybe have to read it again someday.
Awesome reading of a great book! The narrator does an outstanding job with the voices, pacing, and general reading of the story. Book was outstanding.
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