Wednesday 19 June 2019
Salvation by Peter F Hamilton
'In 2204, humanity is expanding into the wider galaxy in leaps and bounds. A new technology of linked jump gates has rendered most forms of transporation--including starships--virtually obsolete. Every place on earth, every distant planet mankind has settled, is now merely a step away from any other. And all seems wonderful...until a crashed alien spaceship is found on a newly-located world 89 light years from Earth, harboring seventeen human victims. And of the high-powered team dispatched to investigate the mystery, one is an alien spy...'
Salvation is the first book in a new trilogy from Peter F Hamilton and also is a new setting for him (not Commonwealth). As such there is a lot of set-up in Salvation which can make it seem a much longer read at times than it actually is but stick with it, when the pace picks up it REALLY picks up.
What I most enjoyed about this, as is often the case with PFH is getting to know the characters and here he has something special - the Utopials. These are a non gender specific society who require their children to have their genome modified so they live in alternating male and female 1000 day cycles. It seems confusing at first but quickly feels normal with the different pronouns taking less thought as a reader.
The 3 different time lines also unsettles the flow of the story at times but I guess that's because I felt more invested in the main thread (I do like a good mystery to solve). All time lines are relevant though and I'm sure PFH will tie everything together.
The Jump Gates reminded me a lot of Stargate and I am glad they are there as instant travel has made for a lack of Starships (I guess I'm a minority but as a Sci-Fi reader I don't much enjoy large sections of story onboard ships)
So, a slow burn of a novel but worth persevering with. The end surprised me and now I can't wait to get hold of the second in the series Salvation Lost.
Thanks to Ellen Casey and Pan Macmillan for inviting me to review this book and providing the copy