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“Great saga! Murder on earth, murder on St. Libra. Angela spent 20 years in jail for the murder on St. Libra but she didn't do it, then who did?”see full review » see other reviews »
“Not bad but not his best.”Jim L wrote this review Sunday, August 4, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Great saga! Murder on earth, murder on St. Libra. Angela spent 20 years in jail for the murder on St. Libra but she didn't do it, then who did?”Yvonne P wrote this review Monday, June 24, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“If you have the stamina for a 950 page book, I highly recommend this sci-fi marvel. Humanity has spread to other planets, but no extraterrestrial life has been discovered... until Earth's most famous clone is murdered. And the accused claims the murderer was actually an alien.”Greg wrote this review Sunday, June 2, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“The books is really brilliant in its construction of the near future .. a tricky subject as most readers of Sci-fi would know.
The characters are well etched out for most part, and even though the pace drags sometimes, you really want to know how all the stories connect.
Even 3/4hth of the way through I was not at all certain as to what was happening, and the likely conclusion, no mean feat in a book this long.
Unfortunately, the ending was a let down. It felt hurried, and while it tried to answer most of the questions, it seemed perfunctory and not satisfying.
Overall while I liked this book, I would like readers to suggest if Hamilton has written something better, so I can try that.”
“Book Info: Genre: Speculative Fiction/Crime Thriller/Murder Mystery/Science Fiction
Reading Level: Adult
Recommended for: Fans of Peter F. Hamilton, those who enjoy an epic story, science fiction/speculative fiction
Trigger Warnings: murder, torture (mostly by drugs, but some physical)
Animal Abuse: people flee and leave behind their cats to fend for themselves, leading to the cats freezing to death
This is a fairly long review, but then again, it's a really long book. The important stuff is in “My Thoughts”; you can skip the rest if you want.
My Thoughts: Call me a hopeless optimist. I've read a number of Peter Hamilton's trilogies, and even a few of his rare stand-alone books (like this one), and been blown away by them up until about the last quarter of the final book (or the very end, as the case may be), where he inevitably pulls out a deus ex machina after painting himself into a corner. However, the stories are always so awesome up to that point that I just keep picking the books up and keep hoping that this time... this time he'll do it right. And, to my delight, he did! While the very last chapter is a bit puzzling, and makes me wonder if we'll ever learn what happened during those 225 years, this story had a great ending.
Am I the only one for whom political correctness is a real pain? I don't mean the idea behind it—after all speaking mindfully is a good thing—but the excesses that some people insist upon? For instance: Charmonique Passam, who declared the term “Human Resources” offensive and should be changed to the “Office for Personkind Enablement”. “Human” is fairly easy to understand—after all, it does include “man”—but her reasoning behind the offensiveness of “Resources” is that it makes one think of something one digs from the ground, and since so many minerals and such are rare... Seriously? I'm also thinking of the moment where Sid first sees Vance Elston and describes him internally as Afro-American. Well, the reader knows this is true, that Vance is from Texas, but how does Sid know? Sid is, after all, in England, leading an English crew and expecting someone in from Brussels, not the US. So why Afro-American? That seems to me to be an author desperately wanting to ingratiate himself with a certain demographic. He also tends to carefully point out the race of his characters, which I find troublesome. I've noticed that elsewhere lately there is a trend to avoid the sorts of descriptions that would pinpoint a race; I've read books where I've been almost to the end before reading a specific character is of African or Indian or Asian descent, and I think that sort of “color blindness” is a better way to work things than to so carefully let people know, because honestly? Their race isn't important; their character is. But that's just me. Anyway, for a good example of that sort of non-description, see London Falling by Paul Cornell (review linked here where formatting allowed). While I found the extreme lack of physical description occasionally disorienting, I did appreciate that the author didn't constantly mention the races of his characters.
I noticed that some weird things have changed by 2143, 130 years in the future. For instance, the word cafetière is now spelled cafeteer instead of French press. The waters of the Tyne manage to avoid freezing despite a long stretch of sub-zero temperatures (although the waterfall on the North property does freeze). But people apparently still use the term “WTF”. Fascinating.
I had a difficult time engaging with this book initially. I was almost a third of the way through it before it really grabbed my attention, and that took me three days. There was no specific fault that caused this, I just kept finding my mind drifting away, finding myself re-reading sections over and over again to try to make them stick. The typical Hamilton approach of throwing huge casts at the reader certainly doesn't help, as it makes it difficult to really connect to any specific person right away. However, the advantage to the length of the book is that even with this method, eventually all the characters are introduced and developed and the reader can begin to understand them.
That said, once it caught me, it really caught me, and as I mentioned above, this story probably had the best-done ending of any Peter F. Hamilton book I've read thus far (and I've read a number of them). If you, like me, enjoy his writing style but are continually frustrated by the ending, you'll be pleasantly surprised by this one. I would like to know the meaning and history behind the happenings in the final chapter, but life isn't always tied up in a neat bow, and even the best-told story will leave questions if done properly. Overall I can recommend the story. If you're interested, check it out.
Disclosure: I received a paperback ARC from the Amazon Vine program in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Synopsis: A century from now, thanks to a technology allowing instantaneous travel across light-years, humanity has solved its energy shortages, cleaned up the environment, and created far-flung colony worlds. The keys to this empire belong to the powerful North family—composed of successive generations of clones. Yet these clones are not identical. For one thing, genetic errors have crept in with each generation. For another, the original three clone “brothers” have gone their separate ways, and the branches of the family are now friendly rivals more than allies.
Or maybe not so friendly. At least that’s what the murder of a North clone in the English city of Newcastle suggests to Detective Sidney Hurst. Sid is a solid investigator who’d like nothing better than to hand off this hot potato of a case. The way he figures it, whether he solves the crime or not, he’ll make enough enemies to ruin his career.
Yet Sid’s case is about to take an unexpected turn: because the circumstances of the murder bear an uncanny resemblance to a killing that took place years ago on the planet St. Libra, where a North clone and his entire household were slaughtered in cold blood. The convicted slayer, Angela Tramelo, has always claimed her innocence. And now it seems she may have been right. Because only the St. Libra killer could have committed the Newcastle crime.
Problem is, Angela also claims that the murderer was an alien monster.
Now Sid must navigate through a Byzantine minefield of competing interests within the police department and the world’s political and economic elite . . . all the while hunting down a brutal killer poised to strike again. And on St. Libra, Angela, newly released from prison, joins a mission to hunt down the elusive alien, only to learn that the line between hunter and hunted is a thin one.”
“Combination of sci-fi epic and police crime story, Great North Road is set in 22nd century, with story starting in 2143 in Newcastle (!). It is a combination of detective police story about murder investigation and broader picture of space travels, aliens and diplomacy.
This was my first Hamilton's book, but I am not sure I will continue with the rest. Author sets the story nice, the future is quite original and believable, technology interesting (I would like to use some of those implants now), but all too common the story drags itself on many occasions. Some parts are there not to advance the story, add something to characters, but it seems only to fill pages. Is Hamilton paid by word?”
“A sprawling doorstop of a book.... Hamilton throws together all the tropes... murder, aliens, slasher movie, hostile planets, a bit of starship troopers, class warfare...
A cast of seeming thousands, the book challenges you to keep all the characters straight.
Hamilton paints a detailed picture of life in the near-ish future, post advent of a "stargate", though why one would choose to put a stargate in gritty Newcastle is beyond me.
The narrative suffers from too much detail. He has an interesting plot, but we wend down so many byways as he explains details of life in his invented future that the reader feels as though several books were mashed into one. Do we really need to know the particulars of how people look for and purchase houses in the future? Some detail of that ilk adds verisimilitude, but too much just seems like indulgence in your pet theories. ”
“Very good science fiction mystery set on a near future Earth and a planet orbiting Sirius. Long, but kept me involved the whole time.”leecoke wrote this review Saturday, January 26, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Excellent sci fi murder mystery yarn....more please Mr Hamilton!!”Eric wrote this review Monday, January 21, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“A departure from the usual kind of books Hamilton writes, but not an unwelcome one. Rather than sticking to his trademark genre of space opera he's written what can only be described as a sci-fi crime thriller, injected with his usual brilliance and experience it's an excellent read, despite its intimidating length.”Chris wrote this review Thursday, January 3, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No