Salvation by Peter F Hamilton
I don’t normally review science fiction books for the simple reason that I prefer to keep my sci-fi reading for myself, rather than having to read with a frame of mind to later review. However, sometimes I make an exception, and for one of the planet’s premiere sci-fi writers, Peter F Hamilton, it was a no brainer.
Hamilton’s new book, Salvation, starts off an entirely new world, and let me just say to all of you fantasy readers who look askance at sci-fi, this book is worth the shot.
The book (essentially) starts out in 2204 – so it’s not too far into the future and doesn’t require too much mental legwork to imagine the world in which we find ourselves. The relevant future-technology is not too hard to grasp and explains and allows for a lot of fantastical and exciting adventures around the universe.
Peter F Hamilton is known as one of the world’s greatest sci-fi writers for a reason. His sci-fi is hard but it’s not so intricate and technical that you need a science degree to grasp it; The stories are not so wacky and “out there” that you need to re-read the series, twice, in order to understand what is happening; And his characters are vibrant and alive.
Salvation is not inherently like other Hamilton books, however, as in many ways it could be considered more of an anthology – although, a closely linked and intertwined anthology. There are two primary storylines – one in the ‘present’ and one in the future – but the ‘present’ storyline exists simply as a framework from which to tell ‘past’ short stories that highlight several of the main characters – main characters which are important to the characters in the future.
That might sound confusing, and it might even sound like a bit of a cop-out on the part of the author – for a while there I certainly thought it was. However, by the end of the book I realised that I had actually loved every moment. Even though there was a lot of time and POV jumping, the reader is never left confused or baffled as to what is happening. Hamilton focuses more on story than on chapters, so while you feel a bit more like you’re reading a collection of short stories, they are so beautifully threaded together that, by the end of the book, the whole has read as perfectly seamless.
I’m not going to go out on a limb and say that Salvation is for every reader out there. There are always going to be some people immune to the charms of a well-written sci-fi book, whatever the reason. But if you’ve ever felt like getting into sci-fi, or already like sci-fi but have never read Peter F Hamilton before, then Salvation is going to be a great chance to get in on the hype train. Coming out in September, Salvation is well worth the effort and a great introduction to some good old-fashioned space-opera.
This Salvation book review was written by Joshua S Hill
All reviews for: The Salvation Sequence
The Salvation Sequence #1
Know your enemy – or be defeated. AD 2204. An alien shipwreck is discovered on a planet at the very limits of human expansion – so Security Director Feriton Kay...
Have you read Salvation?
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Salvation reader reviews
John from Switzerland
As an avid PFH fan I was really anticipating this book, only to be thoroughly disappointed. Huge change in style, a series of mostly slow paced back stories, and a series of tedious morality tale like future stories. It was only at the end of the book, literally the 10 pages or so where I felt things came to life, but much much too late to save this one. As people have mentioned, there was a feeling of a lack of originality, with some character themes and arcs definitely being revisited if not reused from previous vastly superior books. I’ll get the next one, if only to see if there is a return to form, but really not looking out for it and preordering like I did with this one.
Tom from Australia
A 3 and sometimes a 9 and I hope when we get into the story about the Alien arriving it will be back to what I like about Peter's books. Like others the constant jumping back and forth and with so much detail in the old stories and all the names, I find myself picking up the book and wondering where am I and have to glance back a page or two. Don't get me wrong a 3 will still have me reading Peter F Hamilton. Am 3/4 of the way through and I hope they get to that Alien ship very quickly so I don't have to wade through more stories from the past. Sorry Peter.
Ben from NZ
I think this is probably the best book that Peter F Hamilton has written. I really enjoyed it. Really good universe building. Good characters and interesting storylines.
Elijah from USA
Feels like the first Hyperion book (Dan Simmons) which is based off the Canterbury Tales format. If this is the case the sequels will be more of what PFH fans are accustomed (and I have the feeling that will be the case). Anyone else get a Great North Road vibe in some of these stories? I liked GNR and was happy to see the detective element in this one. Can’t wait for the next book to see how this universe expands!
Andrew from Australia
Big fan of Peter F Hamiltons books. The 2 year wait between books is a real killer in following a current author. Well the 2 year wait for this book was not worth it sorry to say. The story came across as very similar to previous works. New alien threat was very similar to the Starflyer from 6 books ago. As was the Cancer vilanesse! Sound like the Cat much from the past works. And if i was to wait around another 2 and then 4 years for the climax, im sure she'll slip back in the story too with her ill defined demise in the first book. Inferior 1st person narration, dramatic change from all past works, and the use of z at the end of words made this future a lazy gramatical hell. From a person whose 1st edition Reality Dysfunction takes pride of place in the book shelf, I'm glad i only purchased the paperback on this and wont be bothering with parts 2&3 when they come out in 2 & 4 years respectively. Sorry Peter, you've lost an avid fan 😥
Stephen from Australia
I am a huge fan of Hamilton's other books but this one just didn't do it for me, very hard to stay in the story with all the jumping backwards and forwards in time, did he really write this?
Stephen from United Kingdom
Utterly disappointed, I have never had any problems getting into a Hamilton novel but this was his worst book by a long shot, Hamilton's use of the first person is just wrong. Why is that? Because the prose is both jarring and pedantic. To be frank, I was so shocked by the syntax for the longest time I was of the firm belief the author had someone ghost this novel, it is THAT different to his normal writing style.
PeterH from Australia
I’ve read most of Hamilton’s books and generally I enjoy them. This was a slog. It started with an interesting premise and then just bogged down with predictable boring back stories of little interest. I found the AA chapters were the only content that kept me going.
4.7/10 from 9 reviews
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