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Son of Heaven (Chung Kuo) Hardcover – 3 Feb 2011


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Atlantic Books (3 Feb. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857890417
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857890412
  • Product Dimensions: 16.6 x 4.1 x 25.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,960,423 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"One of the masterpieces of the decade." --"Washington Post" --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 49 people found the following review helpful By A. Whitehead TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 3 Feb. 2011
Format: Hardcover
London, 2043. Jake Reed is a young futures broker, trading stock on the datascape, the high-tech virtual stock market, one of the best in his field. When the datascape comes under attack from hackers, Reed is called in to investigate who could be responsible. However, the virtual attack is but the opening move in a struggle years in the planning. Cities burn, riots erupt and armies are neutralised as the long-feared collapse of modern civilisation begins.

Twenty-two years later, Reed lives in a rural community in Dorset. Millions have died in the post-Collapse years and the UK is now a patchwork of farming communities. Supplies of advanced medicines and high technology are running low, with no infrastructure available to replace them. But strange things are happening. Waves of refugees are appearing out of the east, strange craft with dragons painted on the wings have been seen in the sky and, on the horizon, a vast structure has appeared and is getting closer. The age of Western dominance has ended and the future belongs to the East.

Son of Heaven is the first novel in the new version of David Wingrove's Chung Kuo series, a science fiction epic spanning 200 years of future history. In Wingrove's series, the entire world has come to be dominated by China, which has constructed vast, continent-spanning cities packed with billions of people and begun to expand into space. Wingrove previously attempted to tell this story in the late 1980s and through the 1990s in eight large volumes, but the series was not completed properly. Now Corvus are republishing the saga in twenty volumes, with a new beginning and ending and a thorough revising of the previously-published material.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lou on 29 July 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
Never having heard of David Wingrove or this series, I found it 'by accident' when trying to find something new to read. The reviews and synopsis made me want to read more but being cautious I downloaded the sample first. I was really gripped by this and downloaded the book very shortly after.

I was totally caught up in section one, setting the scene for 'present day'. I found the writing style very easy to read and was able to visualise from the text, particularly knowing Dorset. However, section two was much harder going as the concept is much more difficut to grasp but still intriguing. Section 3 - returning to present day, I somehow found less gripping but stuck with it to the end, although I confess to 'skimming' some bits. I cannot explain my perception of a different 'feel' to the two present day sections and sadly am not convinced that I want to read any further books in the series. Those who know this series of old, suggest that it gets better but I need persuading.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Bohemond on 20 April 2011
Format: Hardcover
Excellent opening to a series that was already a classic in its genre and, judging by this installment, will be improved upon.
I found it very difficult to put down in the sense of a 'real page-turner' - I always wanted to find out what happened next.
I would have liked more detail around what has happened in the rest of the world following the Crash, but I can understand that this has been written from (primarily) a single viewpoint who is unlikely to know.
Eagerly anticipating the next one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rashad on 9 Feb. 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
As a long standing fan of the Chung Kuo series, I have been waiting desperately for well over a year to get my hands on The Son of Heaven and it did not disappoint! It was never going to be easy to go back and try to refashion an opening for this massive world-building endeavor, especially in the light of the current economic climate and the constant stream of information that continues to befuddle expectations. I found myself questioning the various propositions set forth in the opening few chapters from the perspective of what is currently going on, but as I read on, the more I got engrossed in Wingrove's masterful storytelling and characters, and the less I cared about how it all came to be. I cannot wait for the next installment and going back and revisiting the entire series! Chung Kuo is one of the best epic stories of science fiction, imho, and I could not recommend it highly enough. I am just happy that I will not have to scour used book stores for extra copies to give to friends anymore :)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Roberto on 24 April 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Right, I'm not sure what to make of this book. Personally, I find the 1- and 2-star reviews quite unfair, but I'm not so enthusiastic about this book and find that the 5-star reviews are exaggerating. I leave 4 stars because I genuinely enjoyed reading it (and because if I left 3 stars I'd feel like I'm not really taking a stand). I was feeling rather curious about how events would develop and about the actual "apocalypse" that lead the world to be the way it is described. Said that, I have the impression that the author was trying to connect the events in the book with what's happening now in the real world, but the leap is far-fetched to say the least. Also, there's a big element of implausibility in the historical side of it - as well as in the description of the enemy, ruthless but too perfect to be human. I recommend the book if you want to read something entertaining, just don't expect it to be mind-blowing as some 5-star reviews seem to suggest.
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