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Great North Road Hardcover – 27 Sep 2012


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 1104 pages
  • Publisher: Macmillan (27 Sep 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0230750052
  • ISBN-13: 978-0230750050
  • Product Dimensions: 23.8 x 16 x 7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (335 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 101,024 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Peter F. Hamilton was born in Rutland in 1960, and still lives near Rutland Water with his family. He began writing in 1987, and sold his first short story to Fear magazine in 1988. He has also been published in Interzone and the In Dreams and New Worlds anthologies, and several small-press publications. His work includes the Greg Mandel series, the Night's Dawn trilogy - which established him as Britain's bestselling writer of science fiction - and his critically acclaimed Void novels: The Dreaming Void, The Temporal Void and The Evolutionary Void. His novels and his handbook (a vital guide to the Night's Dawn trilogy) have sold almost two million copies worldwide.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Me on 6 Oct 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If "Game of Thrones" can be turned into a TV series then I think Peter Hamilton's latest novel should be turned into a show too. The Great Road North is an excellent story: imaginative, clever, and well paced; it blends sci-fi with crime, horror, doomed romance, and a bit of political/action thriller. I had been looking forward to this book since reading the plot summary several months ago and I was not disappointed. To me, a long-time fan, it seemed like he had gone through all his previous novels, cherry picked the best elements and weaved them all together.

Talking of weaving, one of the most enjoyable and challenging things about Hamilton is tying his story threads back together using the limited (but very deliberate) clues he writes in before the plot is revealed. I got a fair few, but some of them eluded me until about page 930... It's always fun trying to guess, but I don't think I'll ever be able to call him predictable.

Another thing I really enjoyed was the way he wrote against a believable background, speculating on where modern science and technology might take us and describing how people will live in the near future; think Michio Kaku but with verve, humour, and a lot of very British style. Of course with sci-fi it has to go a little bit further and we have seemingly implacable aliens, spaceships and strange planets. However, unlike the Void trilogy, it doesn't stray into fantasy; believability makes this story more accessible.

Of course Hamilton already has a great reputation for his story-telling skills, but I think that with Great North Road he has improved his writing style. Recent novels have had a large cast of characters, which often led to uneven coverage.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Philip A. Bird on 3 Oct 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really liked the sound of this book, the story caught my attention. The first 200 pages are hard work and I nearly gave up, essentially it feels like the author takes a while to get into his stride. Also the naming of every vehicle and technology is pretty tedious and not necessary. All that being said the book delivers a very reasonable read. The story flows and the plot is good. I wish the editor had been more brutal in the beginning, would have made this a much better book. It's not a classic and doesn't deliver as much as Alastair Reynolds does, but it is probably worth the space on your bookshelf.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful By reader 451 TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 12 Oct 2012
Format: Hardcover
For a novel that combines thriller and science-fiction tale in one, read Hamilton's The Great North Road. Blending a detective story based in Newcastle and a wild alien chase across the twenty-second century planetary colony of St Libra, it is an anxiety-packed page-turner. I found this novel more compact and coherent, indeed, than the absorbing but sometimes sprawling Void trilogy. Even at 1,000+ pages, this doorstopper does not waste a line. At the same time, it (almost) achieves the imaginative range that makes earlier Hamilton books such good reading.

Space colonisation has begun: not by spaceship, but through teleportation gateways. St Libra is one of the new worlds, mined for a bio-fuel it would cost too much to produce on Earth. And atop the highly lucrative trade sits Northumbrian Interstellar and the North family, a multi-generation crowd of over two hundred clones. But a North has been murdered in the streets of Newcastle. The circumstances, moreover, recall a mass-killing that occurred twenty years before on St Libra, and in which the main suspect, Angela Tramelo, blamed an unlikely humanoid alien. Angela is promptly freed, but this is only to pack her off on a massive scientific and military mission to comb the vast and unforgiving St Libra jungle for the predator. Meanwhile, humanity is, on its new worlds, under assault from the un-definable Zanth, stellar-scale swarms that are neither animal nor mineral, nor perhaps even composed of ordinary matter, yet sweep whole worlds before them.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Half Man, Half Book on 5 Jan 2014
Format: Hardcover
This is a monumental book in lots of ways, not just its length (1087 pages) or its size (slightly larger than a house brick), but also in the story that he writes here.

It starts with a murder, and the body that is fished out of the river is a North, a family of genetic clones, and this corpse has had all the identity markers removed. There are five puncture marks on the chest, and the heart has been shredded. The last people to die this way did so 20 years ago, on the colony of St Libra, and the woman who was tried for the murders is still in prison. So begins the most sensitive, and politically charged investigation of Sidney Hurst's career.

With the new murder, the HDA decide that they need to go back to St Libra and fully investigate the claim by Angela that the murders were committed by an alien. She is pulled from prison and sent through the gateway, essentially a wormhole, with a crack team of legionnaires and back to St Libra to find this entity.

And so starts this epic story. It flips between Newcastle, and St Libra and you follow the ebb and flow of the characters in their successes and failures. The people on St Libra start to conclude that the plant they are on is a bioformed planet, and the alien is there as a guardian. St Libra`s sun suddenly red shifts, sending the planet into a mini ice age, and the alien starts to eliminate the legionnaires in the group. Meanwhile back on earth the investigation into the murder has become a lot more complex and charged, and it starts to look like the fall out between two corporations, and the police are playing catch up.

Apart from the fact that this is enormous, and took even me a while to read, I really enjoyed it.
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