44 of 49 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A solid re-opening for this classic series
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...
Published on 3 Feb. 2011 by A. Whitehead
3.0 out of 5 stars It's good but...
I suppose I must start by saying that I enjoyed this book but I must also add that I found it strangely old-fashioned. I wouldn't have been surprised to find that it was really written by John Christopher - it had that sort of feel about it. The book is the first in a long series (which I'm not sure I'm going to actually chase up) but can stand alone. The series appears...
Published on 1 Sept. 2012 by Mieczyslaw Kasprzyk
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5.0 out of 5 stars Oh Yes! Time To Re-Write History,
Ah, the irony.
David Wingrove's alternate history SF gets it's very own alternate version.
Amongst my favourite books of all time, the Chung Kuo series was in my opinion an SF masterpiece, right up until the publisher killed it stone dead by insisting that it was cut down in its prime. So, it's great to begin again, with this new first volume, which sets all the themes up with Wingrove's easy and assured style.
If anything, this is a more mature and considered approach than the (literal) explosion of the original first volume. But this time around the author can have no doubt about what is to come, and is able to re-invent the momentum for the series. It really worked for me, but the proof of the pudding will be with the next volume, completing the umbilical cord from mummy to new life.
I enjoyed this enormously. It was like finding a favourite shirt from 20 years ago and realising it still fits. I can't wait for the rest, and the re-written ending.
4.0 out of 5 stars Chung Kuo: The new beginning...,
For readers new to David Wingroves epic series this is a bit of a misleading starter. Having previously read the series i stuck with it, knowing just how awesome it gets, but if i'd of been new to Chung Kuo i'd of probably wondered what all the fuss was about.
This new beginning to the series has been grafted to set the scene. It's a slow starter but well written. The main issue to grasp is that it starts 20 years after the 'crash' of society, there's almost no technology, and people are scavenging to survive in small groups. Then the plot jumps back to the event itself. Then back to the future/present to deal with the coming of the Chinese...This is where the classic series starts. And THAT is worth sticking around for! Then you will see what people rave about. And realize it's far, far more than a post apocalypse survival tale. And do the Chinese bring back technology? oh YES they do!
5.0 out of 5 stars A great start,
I had not heard of David Windhams' Chung Kuo prior to my purchase of a Kindle. I particularly like a book that envisages the destruction of our present society (or the near future), so The Son of Heaven seemed a good choice. I was pleased to find I had stepped into the beginning of a series of 20 books, book 2 due out this Autumn.
I found the writing rather simplistic but never the less it captures the imagination and has at times the ability to evoke quite strong emotions. I particularly like the way in which the Main character Jake finds his place in a rural community just when things are looking bad for him. It brought a tear to my eye.
Just as you are getting comfortable, the setting changes abruptly and you have to work for a while with an entirely new point of view.
Read it for yourself, it's worth it.
I sure hope Kindle are going to present the whole series!
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A new introduction to one of the greatest epics ever...,
Okay, okay... So I'm a long-standing fan of the original series and this might skew my perspective a bit.
However, I'm now 92% (so my kindle tells my) of the way through Son of Heaven... and it's an absolute superb read. The wonderful way David crafts his characters and truly brings them to life is just as evident in this new prequel as it was in the original. I'm eagerly anticipating the follow-up, and am excited to see what revisions David will be making to rest (especially as the original ending felt rushed and was a bit of a let-down after the terrific build-up).
I must say that I was disappointed by how little this series has been praised in the past. It is a marvellously grafted world on an epic scale and deserves far more recognition that it received. Hopefully the re-launch will be and opportunity to see that put to right...
4.0 out of 5 stars A Welcome Return,
This review is from: Son of Heaven (Chung Kuo) (Hardcover)
It's been over 10 years since I completed the Chung Kuo set of books, and despite my disappointment with the final volume, I've been checking new releases each year in the hope of finding a new David Wingrove book. I was therefore incredibly excited to learn of this new prequel to the epic series -so much so, that I invested in the hardback edition!
I was a little worried at first, that the near-future chapters didn't quite capture the feel of the originals, particularly the financial `datscape' scenes and the over-use of swearing, however it was great to touch on familiar territory come act three.
I remember the feeling of anticipation at the end of the previous books, and it's great to, once again, have it back. Can't wait for the next!
4.0 out of 5 stars A vision of the near future,
Quite a scary read - as we seem only a few steps away from it now.
London is a series of gated enclaves for the elite with the starving masses left outside.
Computers and virtual reality games control the economy.
Economy collapses after being sabotaged by China. The UK lapses into barbarism. China invades.
Enjoyed the book immensely.Particularly the Purbeck against the world section. My only niggle is that most of the female characters are very passive. They seem mostly defined by their relationship with men. (Unless the writer is making the point that without the protection of civilisation women would be forced permanently back into limited roles of wife/mother/daughter - in which case he makes his point well).
5.0 out of 5 stars Scarily coming true in parts already,
Good social and political vision if the very near future.
Don't want to give anything away but it's another post collapse book but extremely well written and plays on many of our current fears regarding a certain nation that appears to be taking over in the real world.
Good level of intimacy with the characters that are well filled. Good degree of action and very good levels of intrigue and suspense.
Very well written and can't wait to read a follow on that I've just downloaded as a result of the entertainment this story gave me.
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved it!,
I really enjoyed this book. The characters caught my attention early on, I liked the mix of flashbacks and 'current events' and the writing is superb. I think it says it all that I bought the second in the series about 5 seconds after I finished this one!
Ok the arrival of the Chinese happens pretty late in the book and I was wondering when they would arrive, but I'm not holding that against it on the basis that I really didn't miss them, but they lived up to expectations when they did finally get there:)
5.0 out of 5 stars The Chung Kuo series is simply wonderful, one more book is always appreciated!,
This review is from: Son of Heaven (Chung Kuo Book 1) (Paperback)
Simply wonderful. A little slow beginning but for a saga comprising 10 books, a slow beginning prequel is not a problem. And the way the master plan is slowly revealed is great. Also, very nice the different subsequent geopolitical phases the author analyses and describes, before arriving to the "final" ChungKuo.
Can't wait to read a completely rewritten "Marriage of the Living Dark" conclusion of the series. In two volumes as originally conceived and with proper plot.
4.0 out of 5 stars Imaginative and gripping,
I had never heard of David Wingrove and downloaded this book rather more out of curiosity than because of a recommendation. The book is unusually structured in the sense that the real protagonists only make an appearance towards its end. The pace is comfortable and above all the narrative is very strong. I found it very easy to read and exciting. The genre is not one that usually interests me very much but I was happy to make an exception in this case.
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Son of Heaven (Chung Kuo) by David Wingrove (Hardcover - 1 Mar. 2011)
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