Salvation by Peter F. Hamilton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Under normal circumstances, I would normally rate a book like this lower because the setup leaves us hanging, but this is PETER F HAMILTON we're talking about. That means, if you're picking up the first book in one of his trilogies, no matter how long each individual book might be, you're invested for the long haul. You might be slightly miffed you need to wait that much longer before SOMETHING major gets resolved, but that's the nature of this beast.
That being said, Salvation has a ton of great multiple storylines going on here, full of technothriller action, early AIs, assassins and investigators, and a mysterious alien spaceship that seems to be quite benign, hopping into our system and piling us with some pretty cool medical toys turning us all into *better* immortal-ish younglings. There are still people around from our age and tons of understood references from our day, so that means this trilogy is much earlier than most of Hamilton's other books.
Oh, and the aliens are encouraging us to join their religious crusade to the end of time. As in, come with us, we'll transform the hell out of you and we'll be on our merry way. But they're not dumb about it. They trade with us, live among us, and are generally good neighbors.
Another huge plotline takes us to one of our colonies designed to be a true utopia. Post-scarcity. And they're also trying to go about protecting the hell out of humanity. Fun, interesting characters, and of course there's tons of conflict there because the rest of our species loves to distrust the hell out of them.
Is the novel a winner?
Only in the sense that it's fun to get a fully established storyline, character base, and feel for the galaxy-at-this-time. We're also rightly suspicious of everyone. The intrigue is high.
High-quality setup, interested in reading on, and I think Hamilton is mightily imaginative. The devil is truly in the details.
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