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3.9 out of 5 stars38
3.9 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 10 December 2000
SALT may have Sci-Fi setting but it is all about people and the seeming need to force people to think and act the way you do. The two story tellers in SALT may have 'alien' names but their attitudes could have been taken from the newspapers and news of today, with all the bigotry, hatred and lack of desire to understand that we see nightly on the news One line sticks in my mind 'these anarchists must understand the Will of God, and if they do not understand it I shall make them understand'
This book is a great read, would make a great film and I have added Adam Roberts to my list of authors to watch out for.
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This debut novel lives up to the Peter F Hamilton recommendation - it gets you thinking and keeps you hooked. The different tellers of the story grab your attention and divide your loyalties, the more acceptable Petja from the alien Als culture competes with the more recognizable ( but instantly dislikeable ) Barlei from a culture closer to home. Echoes of Dune exist in the setting on a Salt based planet, with Adams chasing along the story by switching between the different viewpoints of the two protagonists. If you like hard sci-fi - you will love this book.
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on 16 May 2001
It took a while to get into, and just as I was starting to enjoy one set of characters, the author jumped over to the other group, flipping between the totalitarians and the anarchists. I also found it hard to relate to either group, probably because neither related to anything I can discern in the world. So while the discovery and development of the planet was slightly monotonous, which was realistic, the political groupings and ensuing battles were very unrealistic, even for sci fi.
Unsatisfactory and too broken by the changes in perspective.
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on 25 December 2000
What I liked about this book was the way it managed to express a moral grey area. Splitting the narrative between two figures avoided what is too often the problem with sf/fantasy, a too black-and-white division of goodguys and badguys. I found myself rooting for one figure, only to have my sympathies developed in a complex and interesting way about halfway through. When I finished it I was left thoughtful and moved. I don't read a whole lot of sf, but I really enjoyed this.
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on 19 January 2001
Adam Roberts has written a corker. I could hardly believe it's a debut novel. The world he has created is beautifully realised, while the characterisation is very strong. By the time you've read it, you feel as though you know the characters inside out, as well as the world they inhabit.
I haven't read too many books better than this, and I recommend it to anyone. Great stuff.
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on 6 January 2004
Not too bad a start, but I couldn’t relate to the characters and I ended up despising all the main protagonists. The book ends in a very disappointing manner. I was left wondering why I bothered reading it at all.
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on 20 September 2000
Barlei and Petja have two very different approaches to colonising Salt. The mastery of this work is the way in which Adam Roberts switches your sympathies from one to the other. You build an instant rapport with the two commentators by use of the first person singular in the narration. As a newcomer to sci fi, I shall certainly be exploring this genre further. What greater accolade could there be?
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on 7 January 2002
Maybe I've read too much sci-fi, but this didn't seem anything new to me. The writing is fairly dull, the landscapes and ideas have all appeared in 'Golden Age' Sci-Fi and the characters are equally familiar. OK if you prefer teabags to first flush Assam. I got this because it was compared with M.John Harrison and Mary Gentle. If I was either writer, I'd feel insulted.
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