Salvation Lost by Peter F Hamilton
|Salvation Lost by Peter F Hamilton|
|Category: Science Fiction|
|Reviewer: Alex Mitchell|
|Summary: Barring some plotting and character issues, this is an enthralling tale of humanity's struggle to survive against an overwhelmingly powerful foe.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Maybe|
|Pages: 480/26 hours||Date: October 2019|
In the twenty-third century, humanity is enjoying a comparative utopia. Yet life on Earth is about to change, forever. Feriton Kane's investigative team has discovered the worst threat ever to face mankind – and we've almost no time to fight back. The supposedly benign Olyix plan to harvest humanity, in order to carry us to their god at the end of the universe. And as their agents conclude schemes down on earth, vast warships converge above to gather this cargo. Some factions push for humanity to flee, to live in hiding amongst the stars – although only a chosen few would make it out in time. But others refuse to break before the storm. As disaster looms, animosities must be set aside to focus on just one goal: wiping this enemy from the face of creation. Even if it means preparing for a future this generation will never see.
In addition to the returning cast from the first book, we're also introduced to a couple of new viewpoint characters, all of whom are based in London. The first of these is Gwendoline, a minor character from the first book, who is torn between fleeing to the stars with her extended family and her desire to stay behind with her ex-husband Horatio on Earth. The two bring an element of humanity to the story. Then we have Ollie and Tronde, a pair of youths who are members of a street gang/domestic terrorist group known as the Southwark Legion, who end up on the run after they attempt to destroy London's shields. While Ollie becomes a little more redeemable and sympathetic over the course of the story, Tronde is almost irredeemably abusive and sociopathic, even committing what is essentially date-rape at one point without even a twinge of conscience. It does kind of kill the pacing and intensity of the book and just seems like an excuse to put in a load of grimy intoxicated sex scenes. Honestly, their entire storyline feels more like the plot of a science fiction novel written by Brett Easton Ellis than anything else.
There is a major theme of hopelessness running throughout the entire book. In the 23rd century, the world is divided between a desperate attempt to fight back and wanting to run away. Even some of the better options still leave most of the human race to be harvested by the Olyix. Given that the reader has already seen what happens in the far future, with humanity perpetually on the run from the Olyix, they know that their attempts to hold the aliens off are ultimately doomed to fail, and it can make it quite difficult to get invested in them. Speaking of the far future, this feeling of hopelessness has also manifested itself in low morale among the crew of the warship Morgan, whose entire lives have been spent training to fight the Olyix, with many feeling that their efforts will amount to nothing. In many ways, this makes it feel even more real than most alien invasion stories, since a relatively young race like humanity (even if they have developed a method of interstellar travel) would be thoroughly outmatched by a race that has been travelling through space for millennia.
Overall, except for some plotting and character issues, this is a thrilling tale of humanity's struggle for survival against a vastly more powerful race.
Nemesis by Alex Lamb, another story of an alien threat to humanity's survival.
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