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Mindstar Rising (Greg Mandel) Hardcover – 5 Dec 2013
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"Peter F. Hamilton manages a very neat trick, combining deft scientific and social speculations with the page-turning appeal of the best thrillers." --Tad Williams ""Mindstar Rising "is more than a taut, suspenseful story--it's intellectually exciting as well, its future world full of surprises." --Poul Anderson "An assured, effective debut from a writer to watch." --"Kirkus Reviews" (pointer review) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
A special, 20th anniversary edition of Peter F. Hamilton's first novel, Mindstar Rising, complete with a bonus short story.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
The setting is picturesque, though I cannot stand post-apocalyptic stories, but the plot revolves around something very different and so this aspect hasn’t had a negative influence on my judgment.
Although we are faced with situations very different from those of the usual books by Hamilton, his style is recognizable in the extreme complexity of the plot, the description of uninhibited erotic situations narrated as something natural, his long scenes that keep you glued to the pages of the book, his sought language that forces you to concentrate to the maximum while reading, the ending that can tear a smile.
This is the first novel of Hamilton, the first of a trilogy that I will continue to read soon. In a sense, I appreciated it even more than his space operas, perhaps because imagining a near future gave me more references in the present and made it easier to imagine myself in the story. Hamilton’s characters are alive and you just want to know more about them. Also it is a thriller set in the future with shades of transhumanism, in other words a cyberpunk technothriller, but very contemporary, although it was published twenty years ago and some technological aspect is slightly outdated. But it differs from a certain obscurity of other books of this subgenre dated back to ten or more years earlier, making it an accessible read to a wider audience that goes beyond science fiction.
Unfortunately, the book has never been translated into my language (Italian) and reading it in English requires a good knowledge of the language, given the richness of the language used by the author and his high register. But it can also be an opportunity to improve your English.
Finally, the edition I read, the one published on the twentieth anniversary of the novel (each copy is numbered and signed by the author) also contains a previously unpublished novella in the first part of the book, but chronologically inserted at the end of the trilogy. It is a proper detective story, but set in the future and with an unpredictable and politically incorrect ending, which I would call it à la Hamilton and which makes it very different from other stories of this genre.
Rita Carla Francesca Monticelli (Red Desert - Point of No Return)
The story is set in post-apocalyptic Britain. Global warming has hit resulting in soaring temperatures and drastic rises in sea levels, altering the country. The land is scorched and all previously low-lying land is now submerged below a metre or two of water. On higher ground the population has become much denser due to the migration of those from low-lying grounds. Not only that, the country has been under the power of the People's Socialist Party, a hard, left-wing dictatorship with a devastating ruling. As you can imagine the country and its people are in a bit of mess. For me Hamilton built the world well, perhaps too well at times. He describes the surrounding environment, habitats, climate fairly often throughout the book and always with precision detail. I prefer to read a book and develop an image of the world in my head through the contextual clues given. I felt as though too much was given to the reader which meant it lost an element of imagination for me.
However, the world that Hamilton creates is perfect for the plot he has lined up. Despite the bleak scene, Event Horizon headed by billionaire Phillip Evans, is returning to England, after years of avoiding the PSP, to help those in need. It seems Event Horizon is just what the country needs to rise again, providing employment and advances in technology beyond the rest of the world. Until, of course, it all starts to go wrong.
A spoiler operation is run against Event Horizon causing chaos. After narrowly avoiding a complete meltdown of the company, Phillip Evans enlists the services of our main character, Greg Mandel. Greg is an ex-soldier from the Mindstar Brigade, struggling to survive after the PSP. His character is clearly defined, coming across as a straight talking, no messing kind of guy. Did I mention his psychic ability? The entire Mindstar brigade had psychic glands implanted; Greg's being telepathy (the ability to read minds). This isn't as straight forward as it seems. Greg's ability to read mind is limited to only being able to tell if people are lying. From there he has to play detective and figure it out. It is for this reason that Phillip Evans hires Greg; he wants to know which of his employees was involved in the spoiler operation
This sends Greg into a case that should have been simple: Interview the staff, use his espersence to find out who was lying, job done. Only it's never that simple. A second attack, terrifying villains, a second-psychic comrade, a gland-enhanced granddaughter and a web of lies keep you guessing right up to the end of this story. Hamilton's plot is well thought-out, with multiple angles all coming together neatly at the end. I like a tidy book!!
Given that this book was written in 1993, 20 years ago, it's slightly out dated. However I didn't feel it detracted from the story at all as long as you kept that in mind. Hamilton's use of technology was inventive and in-depth. Whilst I followed the majority of Hamilton's meaning, I cannot confess to fully understanding all of his technological advances and found some of the descriptions and explanations laborious and at times dull. As a self-diagnosed technophobe, I was never going to understand it all but it was encouraging to find that even those with limited technology knowledge/experience could follow and understand their uses.
I had some issues with Hamilton's characters. The females seemed to be very stereotypical and seeped in sexuality. It was a bit much at times and didn't seem necessary to the story. Also, without giving away any spoilers, Greg's comment regarding his psychic comrade, where he was able to forgive her for letting herself go, was a little off!
All in all, I enjoyed this read! It was an exciting, well paced, near-future sci-fi read that will keep you hooked. I think I'll be trying some of Hamilton's other books!
If you're politically correct or of the liberal persuasion you won't like it!
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a great mix of SF, military and a look at what the world would be like after a...Read more