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The Noise Revealed (Noise 2) Paperback – 2 May 2011
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A lot of The Noise Revealed is set in virtually. All the characters and scenes there, with the significant exception of Tanya, were boring and I could never wait to get back to the other thread of the story. Ian Whates clearly knows very little about how computer software actually works, so when he was describing the characters trying track down pieces of code to work out what was happening it rang so untrue that it really irritated me. And when he described how the virus was attacking the software it was worse.
That aside I loved this book even more than the Noise Within. I could really relate to the characters and the way they were feeling and why. There are plenty of twists and surprises that made this a very enjoyable and surprising read. It's an obvious middle book in the middle of a probably trilogy. There are questions from The Noise Within that still go unanswered and even more questions asked. Hopefully Whates is already working on the next book. My advice would be to move a little more out of his comfort zone and really push his imagination.
Thought I'd found an absorbing series, but after reading this book I realise I need to look for a different author. Shame on you Ian Whates - you have some talent, but not the professionalism that paying customers will expect to repeat their purchases of your work.
The first of the series was ok - but this makes it better. I feel (hey, what do I know!?) that the 2 would have been better as one long book (Hamilton stylee), but I fully understand why not.
A good read, good plot. The end was a little rushed (hey, compare to Hamilton again though - his endings have been dismal now and then!) - but overall a satisfying read. I'll be buying whatever else Ian writes.
Ian Whates' first book in the Noise series (The Noise Within: 1) was an engaging read that set up his universe well, and had a level of tension that kept you reading.
The Noise Revealed is the follow up to that book, and features many of the characters we met there. New concepts have been introduced - virtual worlds, post-humans etc and these form the basis of the plot. As the other reviewer says, Whates is an acquired taste, and if you were drawn to the first book by Stephen Baxter's quote do not make the mistake of thinking the hard sci-fi he writes is replicated here - scientific explanation is relegated to the odd reference to zero point units, energy veils and computer viruses.
The plot moves along nicely for the first two thirds of the book and actually makes you think that this could very well turn into a trilogy, as there are enough areas to explore in the universe he has created. Sadly Whates seems to lose interest in the story he is telling towards the end - having built tension and intrigue, he throws it all away in what feels like a rush job to finish the book to deadline. What were major plot points are resolved in a paragraph, and what is clearly supposed to be an unexpected twist can be spotted a mile away. For all this brevity in narrative, there are some sections which seem completely redundant, such as a 4 page section describing someone eating a meal.
The ending actually feels like it was written by someone else, and that someone didn't seem to have access to an Editor or even a rudimentary grammar checker as there are some appalling errors where key words are left out. Whates fancies himself as somewhat of a sci-fi/fantasy Dan Brown with lines like this: "The partial then bade them accompany the fresh-faced young man who stood flanked by two chisel-jawed security personnel, which they did."
All in all, this is an enjoyable read which could have been so much better had a lot more thought and effort been put into the execution.
Not great literature but an enjoyable romp for whiling away a few hours.
Unfortunately the creativity vanishes 3/4 of the way through the book. The major characters assemble and are largely killed off until one of them discovers, pretty much from nowhere, a 'magic get-out clause' that saves the day. The prior plot threads are completely voided by the ending, making any re-reading of the story pointless.
A very disappointing conclusion to what was generally an enjoyable read.