Peter F. Hamilton
Del Rey, 2006 (2006)
Read an Excerpt
Reviewed by Tim Davis
ritish author Peter F. Hamilton is widely respected among SF fans as a '
master world builder
' whose '
superbly imagined, cunningly plotted interstellar adventures
' are filled with '
fully realized human and alien characters as complex as they are engaging.
' Hamilton's previous works - including the
Night's Dawn Trilogy
The Reality Dysfunction
The Neutronium Alchemist
The Naked God
Greg Mandel Trilogy
A Quantum Murder
The Nano Flower
) as well as
(the prequel to
) - have earned much deserved places of honor on SF readers' bookshelves.
eaders now have the opportunity to savor the stunningly complicated and brilliantly conceived
. When the action in Hamilton's latest adventure begins, the robust Interstellar Commonwealth is facing cataclysmic challenges. The Prime, genocidal aliens that have been genetically programmed to exterminate all other life-forms, have already annihilated hundreds of millions of inhabitants on twenty-three different planets within the besieged Commonwealth. And the threat posed by the Prime shows no signs of abating.
he weary Commonwealth, while preparing to mount a counter-offensive against the pernicious Prime, must also contend with the enigmatic Guardians of Selfhood, a covert confederation of indeterminate size and power that is perceived as a terrorist organization by many within the Commonwealth. At the same time, according to the Guardians' dire warnings, the mind-controlling aliens known as the Starflyer have infiltrated key positions within the Commonwealth's government and society. Moreover, if the Guardians are to be believed - even if most believe that they cannot be trusted - the Starflyer are determined to sabotage the Commonwealth's efforts against the Prime.
eter F. Hamilton's intricately plotted space opera explores the ways in which the otherwise peaceful and previously confident Interstellar Commonwealth - in what will be either its '
finest hour - or its last gasp
' - steadfastly confronts the duplicity and dangers posed by the Guardians, the Starflyer, and the Prime. Throughout the complex novel, readers will find themselves wondering, '
Who can be trusted? Who can be believed?
' Densely and intriguingly textured throughout - with plenty of (no pun intended) alien technology, terminology, and concepts - Hamilton's epic contains the kind of SF writing that will appeal to experienced fans; no patronizing narrator or author-manipulated character intrusively explains the many idiosyncratic details but instead - as in all the best SF - the reader is challenged to decode the denotation and connotations of each singular detail by carefully attending to contexts, repetitions, and implications.
verflowing with provocative themes and entertaining characters,
is guaranteed to appeal to hard-core SF readers who will eagerly devour its 800+ pages.
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