Advantages A sort of alternate future novel
Disadvantages science fiction that not everybody enjoys
|Would you read it again?|
|How does it compare to similar books?|
|How does it compare to other works by the same author?|
This was the first novel by a new British writer. Previously there had been some short stories published in magazines. It was written in 1993 and the action takes place some time in the 21st century.The world is a much changed place. For a start it is much warmer and parts of the coastline have been flooded.
Britain is slowly recovering from a period of near Marxist rule under The Peoples Socialist Party, Many changes occurred under their rule and there would appear to have been widespread shortages and poverty for some. It would appear that the Monarchy was overthrown and has now been reinstituted.Our main character is one Greg Mandel. An ex army officer who was prevented from working under the PSP and even had his pension taken away. He would appear to have been part of the resistance movement and uses his expanded Psi talents for the resistance and now to extract a revenge on some of the former rulers.
Pre the change he became part of the Mindstar programme in the army. All ranks were tested for Psi functions and the highest rated fitted with a "gland" This organ, placed directly in the brain secreted a neurohormone to enhance the Psi function, but nothing worked quite as was hoped. There is a lot of fear and mistrust of such people.As a private investigator, he is hired by Philip Evans, the ailing owner of a powerful and wealthy firm known as Event Horizon. This firm is being stolen from and Old Mr Evans wants this stopped. He hopes that Greg Mendel's Psi talent will be of use. Greg can use the talent to know if somebody is lying and for limited projection.
Whilst solving this problem, others slowly surface giving a very complex situation. Who is trustworthy and who is not. Do you feel sympathy for a multi billionaire teenager who has to juggle her life with the dreams of her grandfather and the company he founded, and a possible future?
There are the new class of mercenaries who will use technology and weapons in industrial espionage attacks. What you have is an era of rampant capitalism with a lot of social deprivation caused by the twin effects of sea rise and politics.For a first novel there is a grand mixture of a society in change. It is well crafted and totally believable. The story is written in the third person style to enable you to follow the action from a number of person's perspective. You gradually grow to understand and then to like the main characters. Greg Mandel, a killer by trade and circumstances. Julia Evans, a very rich teenager who has to grow up very rapidly in the world of wolves, some in sheep's clothing. A world where wealth equals power and everybody wants something. Who do you trust?
What you have here is a very good read. A very complex world that is not so far from our own, where motives are very understandable. This is the first of a trio of books all with the same main characters. We are not overwhelmed with the 'Gee Wiz' type of science and technology. This technology may be advanced but it appears understandable from our own level.Copies can be found in most large bookshops priced £7.99
About the author.
Peter F. Hamilton was born in Rutland in 1960, and now lives near Rutland Water. He began writing in 1987, and sold his first short story in 1988.
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