on 31 January 2001
I have grown up in the area which Peter Hamilton describes here. And it sounds so cool. I know the dodgy areas in and around peterborough where the story is set, and its quite an amusing excersize to imagine the street gangs and new political landscape for the country being run from my home city. It still felt like home even though it was drasticly different.
This book has cool tech stuff, bio-implants, black-ops warfare and a murder mystery style all wrapped into one. Its Ace. Wish I had neural-nanonics, it would help to pass my degree right now...
Although written a few years ago now all the stuff in it is still very relavent to todays issues, especially about advances in technology, human genering etc. and how we should use it. This is one authors bent on what we might do with some of that power.
I have ready everything Hamilton has writen but this was my first. Its no 'nights dawn', but its still great. This is much easier on the brain than any of the more complex works hes written. and is a great introduction to his writing.
This is the first of three Greg Mandel novels. Mindstar, Quantum Murder, Nano Flower.
on 15 October 2006
One of his early books and a good, easy read. Treats the future with a realistic view (especially in light of current politics) and the military aspects were believable and based upon rational actions. Problem with so many sci-fi books using military sub-plots is the total lack of reality when it comes to both military action sequences, dialogue and personalities. As an ex-soldier, you can see real events unfold and he stays away from the "stereotypical" protrayal of ex-soldiers.
If you're politically correct or of the liberal persuasion you won't like it!
on 11 August 1999
The ten year rule of a far left government and global warming have taken its toll on Britain. The economy is just starting to kick into life again, but who is trying to sabotage Event Horizons plan to make Britain great again ?. Enter Greg Mandell a psi enhanced ex soldier with a decidely shady past. I enjoyed this book immensely. It romps along at a fair old pace with some stunning set pieces . Recommended.
on 14 July 2013
This is the first of Peter F Hamilton's books that I've read and I have to say, it wasn't what I expected! I've never been into Science Fiction but after a lovely meal with Peter (including an awkward discussion about having never read his books) I decided I should give some of his work a go! I actually enjoyed it far more than I thought it would, so it just goes to show, you mustn't judge a book by its genre!
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!
on 6 May 2008
I really enjoyed mindstar rising, I found it a refreshing take on the cyberpunk genre. Being set in englans was refreshing and the use of global warming in place of nuclear conflict makes the premise seem more likely. The main character is very much a straight forward military type with added psychic powers. Some people have knocked the book for having flat characters, this isn't something I noticed or had any issue with. There is a fine balance between mystery and action here and it is never dull. Well worth all sci fi fans checking out.
on 19 January 2013
Near future, post political and environmental disaster, weed strewn motorways, powerful industrial corperations, psychic ex soldier turned industrial espionage investigator, digitally augmented teenage billionaire heiress, paramilitary gangs, cliche of severely disabled but utter genius character, amusing mentions and destruction of Anglia News favourites like Peterborough and Kettering.
Cliched moustache-twirling obvious villain, questionable sex, implausable plot developments, some very poor dialogue
Entertaining enough for a couple of days reading, right length (400 pages).
on 2 February 2011
This is my first Hamilton book, after years of absence from reading novels due to a hectic work schedule.
The book is fairly well developed, a little slow paced and derivative but for a cybrpunk book i is very accessible. There are some very nice touches in the way the author has chosen to set much of the scene in "real" places and has taken the time to consider how time may have affected the locations.
One thing alone has lowered my grading of this book, the absolutely diabolical Kindle transcription. It is clear that after a spell checker was run nobody bothered to proof-read. "Stansted"(airport) is "Stanstead" throughout, "up close" becomes "up dose" and so forth. Sadly on the smallest print size I am having to word-guess practically every five or six pages and it is infuriating.
****.5 for the book.
* for the editing.