- Paperback: 416 pages
- Publisher: Corvus (1 Jun. 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1848878338
- ISBN-13: 978-1848878334
- Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 13.1 x 2.7 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,079,146 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Daylight on Iron Mountain (Chung Kuo) Paperback – 1 Jun 2012
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'Imagine a collaboration between James Clavell and Frank Herbert and the result might be something very much like Chung Kuo... Smart, involving, entertaining' San Francisco Chronicle --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
So, to the book itself. After the elegy for a lost world that was the overarching theme of book 1, Son of Heaven, DOIM shows us much more of the ruthless Han empire and its sociopathic leader, Tsao Chun. Wingrove's strengths are many, from the detail of character to the grand sweep of nations locked in struggle, all depicted through a dramatic unfolding that does not let go. Highly recommended, especially in light of current global events.
These prequels sit very firmly within the "future history" sub-genre. Son of Heaven was a drama in three acts, dealing with the aftermath of a digital apocalypse, the catastrophe itself, and finally the triumph of its Chinese initiators.
This second novel picks up where its predecessors left off and is split more or less equally between the now dominant Pei Ching - based elite, and the lives of the main protagonists of the earlier novel Jake Reed and his family and friends.
As the book opens, the ruling despot T'sao Chun is faced with rebellion in the Middle East as he prepares his final assault on a divided America, lead by honourable poet-general Jiang Li and Caucasian adviser and computer genius Amos Shepherd.
The book covers a 20 year period. On a micro level Jake firstly sees an opportunity to regain a former life and then, bizarrely and possibly uniquely in a science fiction novel, gets involved in a dispute about his pension rights. On a macro level the book deals firstly with the final, brutal triumph of Tsao Chun, and then with conflict between him and his closest allies.
On a plus side, this is a close to being character driven as any science fiction. Jake and his family are real, believable people, with credible human reactions to the extraordinary world around them. Also, where the third act of the first novel was its weakest part, here as the war between Tsao Chun and his advisers reaches its height, it is the most thrilling. Finally, as with much great science fiction, this deals with contemporary issues.Read more ›
Unlike the previous book, where the world was seen mainly through the eyes of Jake Reed and the Han general Jiang Lee, the story becomes far more multi-threaded as we get an insight into the power emanating from the "world leader" and so-called Son of Heaven Tsao Ch'un and his Seven Dragons, the administrators of his will in his sovereignty over the whole planet (and Mars too). We do catchup with Jake and Jiang Lee, and also find out about how their families have fared as life has changed from the old world to the new.
The world is now corrupt and divisive, with few standing up for the laws of the new world as greed and power have become central currencies. Whilst the story is multi-threaded, following the many lives in the new world of Chung Kuo, this theme is central to the premise of the book. And as each story comes together, we see views polarised as to who if fighting to maintain the status quo, and who is fighting to overturn it.
The dream of a utopian world ruled by the Han is on a knife edge...
Wingrove moves between characters and scenes quickly as he brings the threads together. Occasionally I got lost as to who was who as there are a number of characters to keep track of, and often the author will cut in from one thread to another with little introduction. Consult the appendices if you get really lost, but diligent and careful reading will reward you with a rich story of politics, intrigue, revenge, power, greed and corruption - as well as offering hope that not everyone is out for themselves.
Loved it. Couldn't put it down and can't wait for book three...
The first book had an interesting premise and set my expectation high. It is an universe of world shattering events... only for the big events to be skipped over and for the story to focus on (comparably) boring events and characters. The main character (Jake) lives through the apocalypse, being on the arch-enemy's special kill list, is now the only web-dancer left in the world... and he is fighting for his pension? That's the best this "hero" can do? That's the depth of his impact on the world? Why should I as a reader care?
The american campaign... my copy of the book must be missing hundreds of pages, since we have the marshal planning for the invasion ... I wake up twenty years later and Jake is fighting for his pension. and his son works for WHAAAAT?!?! I don't care about old senile Jack. What happened to the American Empire? How was it conquered? What was the state of the society/culture/technology over there? If it had regressed technologically, how could they resist to the level that European mercenaries (?!?!?!) had to help out the Han empire?? If it survived technologically, how were they able to conquer it? It certainly wouldn't be unprepared this time.
Would European mercenaries be willing to help their own conqueror to conquer America?
I like the premise of the first book (that of an social struggle in face of engineered economical and technological collapse). It promised to explore difficult themes. However, the interesting struggles were brushed aside by shallow and unsatisfactory explanations and the story focused on lesser plots and themes. Plots on the level of an average tv episode.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This author has it. Great story line. Realistic Characters. Have purchased the next two books in the series. Recommend this.Published 4 months ago by Jakczek
The item was as described and arrived within the stated time spotPublished 16 months ago by Mr. J. Mann
Thoroughly enjoyed the rewriting of this book - brings the story into modern day - looking forward to the restPublished 19 months ago by Sting-1
The strain implicit in the ChungKuo foundation already starts to bubble up.
And the first turnpoint is slowly approached, the change from tyranny to oligarchy... Read more
Really enjoy this. Makes you look at how other people live there lives and how cultures are so different. .Published 23 months ago by Amazon Customer
Poor in that what was an world spanning story just became a political infighting story tied up for example in a fight for a pension?Published on 13 Feb. 2014 by A. J. Sudworth
I like Wingrove's writing and the concept at least acknowledges China's place in the world today. The story is fast paced, but I missed the characters from the first novel. Read morePublished on 6 Feb. 2014 by Galros