10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Seven hundred pages of not a lot.,
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This review is from: The Temporal Void (Paperback)
I've reviewed Hamilton's work before on Amazon, and given it five stars. A five star review isn't something I give out lightly and it has to be earned, but I'm still disappointed in the decline in quality between The Commonwealth Saga and this, the followup trilogy.
The thing is, this is the difficult middle book of a trilogy and the bridge is always the hardest to write but even so I do rather feel that more could have happened in the sheer number of pages I just forged my way through.
I don't know about you, but when I buy a big, thick book with a spaceship on the cover I kinda expect it to be mostly about spaceships. More than half, perhaps, would be a fair request. As it is, the lion's share of the book concerns the ongoing quasi-fantasy story of Edeard the policeman and and his war on crime in Makkathran. When someone asked me how on earth Hamilton managed to write so many words in so little time, I observed that he just took his time describing his character's sex lives and what they had for breakfast afterwards and then tacked plot development on afterwards, and a lot of the time it feels like that. Hamilton's oft-noted weakness in writing women is at its most obvious here and I struggle to think of a female character who is more than a first name, a stunning figure, and a voracious sexual appetite.
The saga of Edeard might make for a mildly diverting fantasy tale were it not for the fact that we're told how it ends quite early on, and so the only real drama comes from the Space Opera taking place around it and unfortunately this isn't overly dramatic either. Instead it really has the feel of the various characters going round and round in circles, marking time and being positioned for the finale without actually doing much.
Apart from having breakfast, that is. We learn a lot about far-future dietary choices.
If you haven't started this trilogy, I don't know if I can reasonably recommend it so far and I think Hamilton will have to pull something pretty spectacular out of his hat for the last book to redeem it. After the quality of the Commonwealth Saga, this book just feels like...filler.