Review – Salvation

Author – Peter F Hamilton

Pages – 532

Format – Paperback


Synopsis

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 Kayne selects a team to investigate. The ship’s sinister cargo not only raises bewildering questions, but could also foreshadow humanity’s extinction. It will be up to the team to bring back answers, and the consequences of this voyage will change everything.

Back on Earth, we can now make deserts bloom and extend lifespans indefinitely, so humanity seems invulnerable. We therefore welcomed the Olyix to Earth when they contacted us. They needed fuel for their pilgrimage across the galaxy – and in exchange they helped us advance our technology. But were the Olyix a blessing or a curse?

THE FAR FUTURE
Many lightyears from Earth, Dellian and his clan of genetically engineered soldiers are raised with one goal. They must confront and destroy their ancient adversary. The enemy caused mankind to flee across the galaxy and they hunt us still. If they aren’t stopped, we will be wiped out – and we’re running out of time.


Review

Firstly, thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy of this book!

I’ll start by saying this book was a little bit hit and miss but please bear with me because I’d still recommend it – see why in a sec.

The premise for Salvation felt perfect – space exploration, alien contact, suggestions of horror elements, humanity’s future in the balance. It was the perfect sort of exciting story I thought I’d enjoy. And to an extent, I did. It’s just that Salvation kinda feels like a set-up for the other two books in the series.

We have chapters in the distant future which I can’t say I was a huge fan of, due to the YA feel – teenage protagonists training for a war – though the ‘main story’ takes place in the 23rd century and follows our team sent to investigate an alien shipwreck. Some of these team members have history with one another and each characters’ backstory is played out in its own short story in a sort of flashback. I’m not against this idea if implemented to complement the main storyline.

However, because the main story of the book never really got going (these episodes take up the large majority of the book) it felt jarring and provoked a little impatience; this is a book over 500 pages long, afterall. This gave it a prelude feel. If you don’t really care about the plot to begin with and would prefer to start a story knowing the characters well, this might be a big advantage for you as it’s almost like the real story will get going with book two, and this is why I recommend reading Salvation.

The writing style flows nicely, there are some brilliant ideas implemented very nicely and (most of) the characters are relatively interesting with room for further development. The author puts his own slant on non binary pronouns which is done well without feeling forced as well as creating a technological timeline from our times right into the future which is really interesting (check the back afterwards).

There are plenty of other big Sci-Fi concepts such as port holes and biological engineering and it all accumulates to create an unfamiliar world in a familiar setting.

Because there are some cool concepts and the underlying story is intriguing, with a well written, professional prose I’ll be reading book two, Salvation Lost. I fully expect it will be a lot more immersive and the story will really get going after the setup in Salvation. It’s obvious Peter F. Hamilton is a very talented writer with big ideas and a thoughtful consideration for the actions of human beings and where our future could lie.

This book will work better for some than others and it is by no means a bad book – I just felt it was a little flat in places and couldn’t really be called a page turner with the jumps through time and lack of consistent plot. Despite this its strengths have me excited to see what happens in Salvation Lost – where the exciting stuff will really begin!

Thanks for reading.

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