Top positive review
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Still a great read, and keeps the tension up!
on 9 February 2013
When I turned the last page on Hellstrom's hive I was just wishing that a sequel had been written. There's a lot of really enjoyable aspects to this book, and the combination of all of them is what made it a really solid sci-fi/futuristic story.
Even though its very much a novel of its time, from the point of view of technology, Herbert's novel has aged quite well considering that it pre-dated the mass computer market, and while mobile phones are understandably absent, the references to radio links etc are comparable in terms of plot progression. Also, the technology of the hive is still advanced and novel by our standards - as well quite alien in many respects!
The other aspect that makes this a great read is the pacing of the story, and the interaction between the agency and the hive leadership. Firstly, the interaction is intelligent. A real battle of wits unfolds between both sides, and is carried well by the characters involved, who are also well differentiated.
Finally, and definitely the intriguing element which spurred me on to purchase this book, was the fascinating description of a human/insect society, complete all the way down to a caste system. Herbert shows as well as tells, and Janverts run through the hive towards the end of the story leads to one nightmarish revelation after another. While some scenes would perhaps be more shocking if they had not been alluded to beforehand, the real climax comes from the plot itself, and you are never quite sure how the story will end.
An oldie but a goodie!