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Daylight on Iron Mountain: Chung Kuo Book 2 [Kindle Edition]

David Wingrove
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

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Book Description

CHANGE IS ON THE AIR: The generals of the Middle Kingdom await the decision of the emperor. The campaign to secure the border from China to Iraq has reached a strange impasse. Two blood enemies - Arabs & Jews - have united against their common cause. But with the lives of thousands at his whim, the exalted Tsao Ch'un, the Son of Heaven, cannot decide. Destroy the Middle East in one blinding flash? Or take another path?

BUT THE WAY IS UNCLEAR: In the court of Tsao Ch'un, men of power have become smiling lackeys, whose graces conceal their fear, or their ambition. A man that can be trusted absolutely is a rare thing. And so, with his family held hostage by the empire, General Jiang Lei finds himself appointed to a special task: the orchestration of the last great war against the West. The total dominion of America.

WAR APPROACHES: But life in the world of levels continues. No hint of war, or want, or discontent can infiltrate the oppressive, ordered society that replaces the world Jake Reed once knew. Since the first airships rolled over the horizon, nothing has been the same. His new life means new thinking, new customs, a new way of behaving, & with his every move scrutinized, Jake can only serve the bureaucracy of new China. But he is not the only citizen who feels discontent with the anodyne new order.

Product Description


Imagine a collaboration between James Clavell and Frank Herbert and the result might be something very much like Chung Kuo... Smart, involving, entertaining --San Francisco Chronicle

About the Author

David Wingrove is the Hugo Award-winning co-author (with Brian Aldiss) of The Trillion Year Spree: The History of Science Fiction. He is also the co-author of the first three MYST books - novelizations of one of the world's bestselling computer games. He lives in north London with his wife and four daughters.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 605 KB
  • Print Length: 360 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1848878338
  • Publisher: Corvus (1 Nov. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005UE6IK2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #95,405 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 2nd Prequel Volume to the original Chung Kuo 11 Nov. 2011
Readers should be aware that the 2 previous reviews are for The Middle Kingdom, not Daylight On Iron Mountain. This book, DOIM, is the 2nd prequel volume to the original Chung Kuo epic, the 1st being Son of Heaven. David Wingrove has heavily revised the multi-threaded Chung Kuo story and each of the original 8 books will be published as two, making 16 from the original series plus the 2 prequels and 2 expansions/sequels, totalling 20 books in all. Yet for some reason, Amazon has decided to append 10-year old reviews onto the entry for the wrong book.

So, to the book itself. After the elegy for a lost world that was the overarching theme of book 1, Son of Heaven, DOIM shows us much more of the ruthless Han empire and its sociopathic leader, Tsao Chun. Wingrove's strengths are many, from the detail of character to the grand sweep of nations locked in struggle, all depicted through a dramatic unfolding that does not let go. Highly recommended, especially in light of current global events.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent but all over the place 6 Dec. 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
David Wingrove wrote the Chung Kuo series of eight science-fiction novels in the late eighties/nineties. Now he is apparently rewriting them, and has added two prequels, published in 2011, Son of Heaven and now Daylight on Iron Mountain.
These prequels sit very firmly within the "future history" sub-genre. Son of Heaven was a drama in three acts, dealing with the aftermath of a digital apocalypse, the catastrophe itself, and finally the triumph of its Chinese initiators.

This second novel picks up where its predecessors left off and is split more or less equally between the now dominant Pei Ching - based elite, and the lives of the main protagonists of the earlier novel Jake Reed and his family and friends.
As the book opens, the ruling despot T'sao Chun is faced with rebellion in the Middle East as he prepares his final assault on a divided America, lead by honourable poet-general Jiang Li and Caucasian adviser and computer genius Amos Shepherd.
The book covers a 20 year period. On a micro level Jake firstly sees an opportunity to regain a former life and then, bizarrely and possibly uniquely in a science fiction novel, gets involved in a dispute about his pension rights. On a macro level the book deals firstly with the final, brutal triumph of Tsao Chun, and then with conflict between him and his closest allies.

On a plus side, this is a close to being character driven as any science fiction. Jake and his family are real, believable people, with credible human reactions to the extraordinary world around them. Also, where the third act of the first novel was its weakest part, here as the war between Tsao Chun and his advisers reaches its height, it is the most thrilling. Finally, as with much great science fiction, this deals with contemporary issues.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sweeping and masterful - too, too good... 18 Nov. 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed Wingrove's first book Son of Heaven (Chung Kuo) and have eagerly awaited the next instalment in what is set to be a 20 book series.

Unlike the previous book, where the world was seen mainly through the eyes of Jake Reed and the Han general Jiang Lee, the story becomes far more multi-threaded as we get an insight into the power emanating from the "world leader" and so-called Son of Heaven Tsao Ch'un and his Seven Dragons, the administrators of his will in his sovereignty over the whole planet (and Mars too). We do catchup with Jake and Jiang Lee, and also find out about how their families have fared as life has changed from the old world to the new.

The world is now corrupt and divisive, with few standing up for the laws of the new world as greed and power have become central currencies. Whilst the story is multi-threaded, following the many lives in the new world of Chung Kuo, this theme is central to the premise of the book. And as each story comes together, we see views polarised as to who if fighting to maintain the status quo, and who is fighting to overturn it.

The dream of a utopian world ruled by the Han is on a knife edge...

Wingrove moves between characters and scenes quickly as he brings the threads together. Occasionally I got lost as to who was who as there are a number of characters to keep track of, and often the author will cut in from one thread to another with little introduction. Consult the appendices if you get really lost, but diligent and careful reading will reward you with a rich story of politics, intrigue, revenge, power, greed and corruption - as well as offering hope that not everyone is out for themselves.

Loved it. Couldn't put it down and can't wait for book three...
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2.0 out of 5 stars Big, big disappointment! 27 Aug. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
(some spoilers ahead)

The first book had an interesting premise and set my expectation high. It is an universe of world shattering events... only for the big events to be skipped over and for the story to focus on (comparably) boring events and characters. The main character (Jake) lives through the apocalypse, being on the arch-enemy's special kill list, is now the only web-dancer left in the world... and he is fighting for his pension? That's the best this "hero" can do? That's the depth of his impact on the world? Why should I as a reader care?

The american campaign... my copy of the book must be missing hundreds of pages, since we have the marshal planning for the invasion ... I wake up twenty years later and Jake is fighting for his pension. and his son works for WHAAAAT?!?! I don't care about old senile Jack. What happened to the American Empire? How was it conquered? What was the state of the society/culture/technology over there? If it had regressed technologically, how could they resist to the level that European mercenaries (?!?!?!) had to help out the Han empire?? If it survived technologically, how were they able to conquer it? It certainly wouldn't be unprepared this time.
Would European mercenaries be willing to help their own conqueror to conquer America?

I like the premise of the first book (that of an social struggle in face of engineered economical and technological collapse). It promised to explore difficult themes. However, the interesting struggles were brushed aside by shallow and unsatisfactory explanations and the story focused on lesser plots and themes. Plots on the level of an average tv episode.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Keeping me absorbed again
Thoroughly enjoyed the rewriting of this book - brings the story into modern day - looking forward to the rest
Published 17 days ago by Sting-1
5.0 out of 5 stars Even better than the first prequel, this one is already set in the...
The strain implicit in the ChungKuo foundation already starts to bubble up.
And the first turnpoint is slowly approached, the change from tyranny to oligarchy... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Giuseppe I.
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Reading
Really enjoy this. Makes you look at how other people live there lives and how cultures are so different. .
Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
2.0 out of 5 stars disappointing after volume 1
Poor in that what was an world spanning story just became a political infighting story tied up for example in a fight for a pension?
Published 13 months ago by A. J. Sudworth
4.0 out of 5 stars A good sequel
I like Wingrove's writing and the concept at least acknowledges China's place in the world today. The story is fast paced, but I missed the characters from the first novel. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Galros
5.0 out of 5 stars Worthy prequel
I read the original series decades ago and was fascinated to find out that it had been extended. This was great and am looking forward to the rest of the series.
Published 18 months ago by Doobrie
4.0 out of 5 stars Most enjoyable second volume
Like many others I read the original Chung Kuo quite some time ago and it is most enjoyable to re-read again on my kindle, we'll written and with characters that have been well... Read more
Published on 9 Mar. 2013 by P. barton
3.0 out of 5 stars good but the plot a little weak
like the idea behind this but need depth to the plot. will try the next book though as I do want to know what happens next.
Published on 15 Dec. 2012 by MR JAMIE T WHITE
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recomended
The original books were great (regardless of a rushed 8th book which if viewed outside of the series is actually a decent book itself). Read more
Published on 5 Dec. 2012 by RAW
5.0 out of 5 stars Good ending to the prequel
This book is a good ending to the prequel and a decent introduction to the main storyline of The Middle Kingdom.
Published on 28 Nov. 2012 by Eddy Young
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