1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A useful and clear reference guide,
By A Customer
This review is from: Title: The Confederation Handbook (Paperback)
Written in the style of a popular science book, The Confederation Handbook is a comprehensive resource for readers of the massive Night's Dawn trilogy and associated short stories. The book is a rationalised version of the author's notes but organised into clear, balanced sections that cover all of the main elements of the Confederation universe, from people and places through ships and weapons to cultural histories.
However, this book should not be read in isolation from the novels and stories as the reader would not understand the references, characters or plotlines that Hamilton refers to - there are a million words worth of complex science fiction behind it. The handbook acts more as an aide memoir and secondary resource than a stand-alone work of fiction.
I found this book a useful addition to the Night's Dawn collection as it explained some fundamental issues and technologies in a way that the novels had not. Whilst reading the fiction works I was continually flicking back through the thousands of pages to find a character or concept that had made a sudden reappearance. I also enjoyed the clear, simple style that prevented the handbook becoming a labour to read.
For readers who have not yet finished the trilogy, this book would also be a valuable reference and Hamilton has deliberately avoided spoiling the plot of the concluding novel, The Naked God.