December 11, 2011

Review - "The Reality Dysfunction" by Peter F. Hamilton

Genre: Sci-Fi

A one word review: WOW! Just had to :-)

A bit about the book

This is the first book in Hamilton's "The Night's Dawn" trilogy. In AD 2600 the human race is finally beginning to realize its full potential. Hundreds of colonized planets scattered across the galaxy host a multitude of prosperous and wildly diverse cultures. Genetic engineering has pushed evolution far beyond nature's boundaries, defeating disease and producing extraordinary spaceborn creatures. Huge fleets of sentient trader starships thrive on the wealth created by the industrialization of entire star systems. And throughout inhabited space the Confederation Navy keeps the peace. A true golden age is within our grasp.

But now something has gone catastrophically wrong. On the primitive colony planet Lalonde a renegade criminal's chance encounter with an utterly alien entity unleashes the most primal of all human  fears. An extinct race which inhabited the galaxy aeons ago called the phenomenon "The Reality Dysfunction." It is the nightmare which has prowled beside man since the beginning of history.

My evaluation

This is a brick! Close to 1300 pages in total, and it sure is sci-fi! But a modern classic sci-fi in a way that captivates you. This is an extraordinary feat of storytelling on a truly epic scale. You either love it, or you hate it. What is for certain, I will start the next book in the series this evening! 

The first 200 pages is, I must admit, difficult to absorb. Hamilton builds a broad specter of characters, planets and subplots simultaneously. These pages you need to read in one go. It is easy to loose control over who is where and why. But as the story develops, everything fits perfectly together and all the different pieces have their own purpose of doing that. 

I cannot say that Hamilton is a wordsmith. Sometimes he spends a lot of words describing details that seems on the side of the main storyline and it can be a bit heavy here and there, but the book is like an exquisite dish full of different spices and ingredients. Everything is necessary to give you the full fantastic flavour of it. The story has a tremendous depth to it - neural implants linking whole societies, living space ships, the dead souls possessing the living and waging inter galactic war.......where did he think all of that up? And with truly likeable and interesting main characters?

It is just a great start of a trilogy, and I cannot wait continuing this space opera :-)

My rating

of 5

Paperback: 1256 pages
Publisher: Orbit; Reprint edition (October 8, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0316021806
ISBN-13: 978-0316021807

 Pic of the day: One truly lazy kangaroo I met outside Perth :-)


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